OTTAWA – There’s no denying Tim Thomas’s success against the Ottawa Senators.
Thomas made 29 saves Saturday to remain unbeaten this season as the Boston Bruins shut out the Senators 4-0.
Thomas’ 20th career shutout was his fifth all-time against Ottawa and improved his record on the season to a perfect 6-0-0.
“The effort in front of me was great,”said Thomas.“Our ‘D’ is doing an incredible job blocking shots when needed, clearing rebounds when needed. They’re making life easy for me right now.”
David Krejci, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic and Jordan Caron scored for the Bruins (6-2-0).
Brian Elliott started his eighth straight game for Ottawa (4-6-1), which had won two in a row coming in. He finished with 21 saves.
The Senators got off to a good start, despite giving up the first goal, and were the better of the two teams after 20 minutes.
“We had our chances early and didn’t capitalize,”said Clouston of his team, which outshot the Bruins 12-6 in the first.“We had six or seven good chances in the first period … those were the momentum breakers. They capitalized on our mistakes. For the most part up to the first 35 minutes I thought we played a real solid game.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien felt his team just got better as the game went on and was quick to point out that the win was a result of being able to rely on all four lines.
“We played well in the first 10 minutes and then they took control of the last 10,”said Julien.“The third was our best and everyone contributed.”
Boston took the lead four minutes into the first period as Krejci took advantage of a Senators turnover. Chris Phillips’ attempt to clear the puck caught Mike Fisher’s stick and Krejci caught Elliott off guard.
Ottawa appeared to tie the game midway through the second on a goal by Daniel Alfredsson, but it was called back after it was ruled Fisher interfered with Thomas in the crease.
“It would have been nice to get that one and kind of get us a little momentum,”said Fisher.“We just couldn’t seem to get any momentum at all through any of the game.”
For many of the Senators that missed goal was the game changer, but Thomas saw it differently.
“I don’t know if it was a turning point,”said Thomas.“I think we would have won anyways in my mind. It was a good call.”
From that point on the Senators seemed to lose momentum as the Bruins went on to score twice more to end the period leading 3-0.
Clouston felt his team may have been trying too hard and as a result made mistakes.
“They’re a good team, they stuck with their game plan when they got up a couple goals,”said Clouston.“We got off ours a little bit and that falls right into their hands.”
Seguin, with his third of the season, took a great cross-ice pass from Mark Recchi and caught Elliott moving side-to-side to beat him shortside on the power play at 13:55.
Ottawa looked to be asleep towards the end of the period, surrendering two breakaways in succession. Elliott stopped Nathan Horton’s attempt, but Lucic made no mistake moments later.
The Bruins made it 4-0 midway through the third as Caron broke in alone and beat Elliott on another Boston breakaway.
Jason Spezza, returning to the Ottawa lineup after missing the last four games with a groin injury, felt the last two goals were a result of trying to make things happen.
“We played pretty tight in the first two periods,”said Spezza.“Then we gave them some grade ‘A’ scoring chances late in the game and a team like that they’re going to capitalize.”
Ottawa was without winger Milan Michalek, who will likely be out a week with tendinitis in his surgically repaired left knee.
Notes: The Senators were also without D Filip Kuba (broken right leg, two weeks), G Pascal Leclaire (groin, indefinite). D Brian Lee was a healthy scratch. … Boston C Marc Savard (concussion, indefinite), D Johnny Boychuk (forearm, three weeks), LW Marco Sturm (knee, indefinite). RW Brian McGrattan and LW Daniel Paille were healthy scratches.