EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) — Defenseman Dennis Wideman gave
goaltender Tim Thomas a much deserved victory.
Wideman scored a power-play goal with 1:42 left in overtime and
Thomas made 27 saves as the Boston Bruins earned a 1-0 victory
over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
“Any time you can win, we can feel good about how we played,”
Wideman said. “Offensively, defensively, goaltending –
everything was good. These aren’t easy cities to win in.
Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, it’s tough playing here. It’s a
tough place to win, to come out of here with two points to start
the road trip is great.”
Oilers center Shawn Horcoff was whistled for a hooking penalty
with 2:25 left in the extra session and Wideman took advantage
after accepting a feed from Marc Savard and wristing a shot past
Dwayne Roloson for his second goal of the season.
“(Savard) did a good job of faking the play across and giving me
a lot of time to get that shot off,” Wideman said. “It’s always
more fun winning, obviously. Anytime you come to Canada and
play in this atmosphere and play against teams like those
Canadian teams, it’s always a little more exciting.”
Captain Zdeno Chara also registered his third assist of the
Thomas stopped 10 shots in the first period, five in the second
and 12 in the third en route to notching his first shutout of
the season and eighth career. The 34-year-old also recorded his
first shutout since March 29, when he blanked the Ottawa
Senators in a 4-0 win.
“Basically to the victor goes the spoils,” Thomas said. “You
can play a great game and if you lose, you’re not going to get
any credit for it. Like Roloson ? (he) played a great game,
Searching for key parts of the game, Thomas recalled an
important save in the third period when he stopped Ales Hemsky
on a 2-on-1 rush.
“(It was) a reaction save,” Thomas said. “I saw that it was a
2-on-1 or a 2-on-2. I knew there was more than one option for
the shooter. But I didn’t want to give away the shot either. I
was just fortunate enough to get over there and just try to play
it like we do in practice.”
Boston coach Claude Julien saw that save as perhaps the most
crucial part of his team’s win.
“(Thomas) was very, very good tonight,” Julien said. “I think
we did a good job in front of him, and when he had to make the
saves, he was right on top of them. That save at the end he
gave us an opportunity to win the game. Simple as that.”
Coming off a breakout campaign in which he recorded 13 goals and
23 assists in 2007-08, Wideman helped the Bruins avoid competing
in a shootout, a predicament in which they are 0-for-3 this
Roloson turned aside 35 shots for Edmonton, which dropped its
fourth straight game. Starting in place of Mathieu Garon,
Roloson made 15 saves in the first period, nine in the second
and 10 in the third.
“It’s always hard to take a loss,” Roloson said. “It doesn’t
matter if that goal comes in overtime or on the first shift or
the last shift of the game. It’s always hard to lose a game.
The parameters don’t change. It’s still frustrating.”
This shortcoming bothered Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, whose
team started the season 4-0-0.
“(Roloson) kept us in it and we were going to put some window
dressing on it if we were able to win the game in overtime or a
shootout,” MacTavish said. “But it would have just masked what
has been plaguing us for the last number of games, almost since
the inception of the season.
“We haven’t, as a team, been able to dominate anybody. It’s
time for us to realize that. It was hidden in the record but
that is over.”
The last time Edmonton and Boston met, the Oilers lost, 3-0, at
Boston on February 13, 2007. Thomas made 32 saves to register