Marco Sturm had two goals and an assist to lift the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
Lewis was a Red Wing employee for 20 years, as a player, assistant coach, associate coach, head coach and pro scout, from 1986 until he became the Bruins’ coach last summer. Thomas is a native of Davison, Mich., which is about 100 kilometres north of Detroit. Lewis downplayed winning in his return.
“For me, it’s two points,” he said. “All I have a great memories of this team, this organization, these fans.
“Just to come back, I knew how to get into the visitors locker room, but I hadn’t been in there in a long time.”
It was a bigger deal for Thomas, who made 35 saves.
“It meant a lot,” he said. “I tried to tell myself that it didn’t because I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself.
“I realized how much it meant to me with just a few minutes left. The emotions started to boil up. I’m glad we had a three-goal lead at that point.”
Chuck Kobasew added a goal and an assist for Boston, which had lost three in a row, and Petr Tenkrat, Patrice Bergeron, and Phil Kessel also scored. Marc Savard had three assists.
Jiri Hudler had a goal and an assist for Detroit and Nicklas Lidstrom and Robert Lang also scored. Dominik Hasek stopped 19 shots.
“We earned this,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. “This has been coming for awhile.
“We can’t, from the back end, continue to turn over the puck like we have been.”
The Bruins took the lead for good in the second period.
Sturm’s second goal of the game, on the power play, tied it 2-2 at 5:43 of the second period. He tipped in Marc Savard’s pass for his 23rd goal.
“We’ve been without the power play and we forecheck a little bite more aggressive as a group, not just one guy,” said Sturm. “We attack their D and that’s what we have to do.”
Tenkrat put Boston ahead with 8:22 left in the period when he beat Hasek with a slap shot from the right circle after a turnover by Pavel Datsyuk.
Bergeron made it 4-2 with his 19th goal 2:35 into the third period. Hasek moved out of the net to make a play, but the puck took a funny carom off the rear boards to Bergeron, who shot the puck into the net before Hasek could get back in position.
Kobasew added a power-play goal 8:34 into the third period to make it 5-2. Lang answered with his 17th goal with 7:47 left for Detroit, and Kessel closed out the scoring with 5:41 remaining.
Boston had opened the scoring 5:26 into the game when Sturm’s shot from the top of the right circle along the boards beat Hasek, who was screened.
Hudler tied it with his 11th goal 2:10 later when he knocked in a loose puck from in front of the net. Lidstrom gave Detroit the lead beating Thomas on a slap shot from the point for a power-play goal.
NOTES: Detroit D Danny Markov missed his second game with an upper body injury . . . Detroit forward Johan Franzen also didn’t play because of an upper body injury . . . Boston has won six of its last eight on the road . . . The Bruins’ Mark Mowers, Aaron Ward and backup goalie Joey MacDonald are former Red Wings.