Thornton, Thomas help Bruins stymie Canadiens

MONTREAL (Ticker) — All-Star Tim Thomas evidently reaped
benefits of a day off.

Shawn Thornton snapped a tie midway through the second period
and Thomas turned aside 27 shots as the Boston Bruins edged the
Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, in battle of “Original Six” rivals on

Defenseman Dennis Wideman also tallied and All-Star Marc Savard
added an empty-netter with 57 seconds remaining in the third for
Boston, which erased an early deficit en route to notching its
fourth win in five contests.

“We did a great job killing penalties in the second period and
got the lead,” Thomas said. “We kept going at them and we
didn’t just sit back. We were playing to win and not to lose.”

Robert Lang scored Montreal’s lone goal before leaving in the
final session with an apparent ankle injury.

All-Star Carey Price made 20 saves for the Canadiens, but fell
to 1-4-0 since returning from a groin injury that kept him
sidelined for eight games.

“Close is still not good enough; at the end of the day, it’s
still a loss,” Montreal All-Star defenseman Mike Komisarek said
of his team, which defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3, on
Saturday. “I thought we took a step forward (Saturday) and we
were there today.

“Still, it wasn’t enough. To beat a team like that, we need
each and every single guy. It was tough; we had the chance to
do something special against one of the hottest teams in the
NHL. It’s disappointing.”

After starting eight straight games, Thomas was given a day off
from coach Claude Julien during Saturday’s 3-1 win over the New
York Rangers. In that contest, rookie Tuukka Rask turned aside
35 shots in notching his first career shutout.

Thomas picked up where his young teammate left off in this one.

The netminder surrendered a power-play goal to Lang with 1:42
remaining in the first, but was impenetrable the rest of the

“I thought we handled it well,” Julien said. “Unfortunately, we
took some bad penalties that you don’t want to take in those
types of games, but our penalty killing did a great job handling
those situations, allowing us to stay in the game and take the

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Wideman forged a 1-1 tie with one second left in the session,
firing a wrist shot from the slot that sailed past Price.

“I think we played a little bit better tonight than we did
against the Rangers, but I think we built off of what we did
against the Rangers,” Wideman said. “It kind of looks like
we’re getting better each game with our full lineup out there.

“Hopefully we can keep building and building until we get to the
point we were at for the first two months of the season, we’re
starting to move back to that and in the right direction.”

Thornton then gave Thomas all the support he would need 8:02
into the second with a wrister from in front of the net.

Montreal, which entered play with a 12-1-1 record at home
against Boston since October 18, 2005, tested Thomas with 14
shots in the final period but was unable to avoid its fifth loss
in six contests.

“Thomas played great and they did a really great job of boxing
us out on the rebounds,” Price said. “We were a couple of hairs
short. They take advantage of your mistakes and they locked
everything down and didn’t give us a sniff.”

Savard secured the victory with his 20th goal late in the third,
enabling the Bruins to improve to 30-5-5 against Eastern
Conference foes this season.

“Tonight the guys were strong on the puck, (Thomas) made the
saves when we needed them and the guys were pouncing on the
loose pucks,” Julien said.

The Canadiens wore retro jerseys and socks, featuring red, white
and blue horizontal stripes used by the team in 1912-13.