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Thomas makes 27 saves, Savard scores twice in Bruins' 3-0 win over Stars

DALLAS - The Boston Bruins had the perfect formula for their first road game of the season.

Tim Thomas made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season and 13th overall, Marc Savard scored twice, and the Bruins beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Friday night. The Bruins lacked consistency during a five-game homestand to open the season, losing three times.

But Savard's first-period power-play goal gave Boston (3-3-0) early momentum, and Patrice Bergeron, who added an assist, had an even-strength goal early in the second.

"We were disappointed with our homestand," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We knew we'd have to redeem ourself on the road. Tonight looked more like where we want to be as a team."

The Bruins' forecheck made it tough for Dallas to use its speed on breakout plays, and Boston's big defencemen kept the Stars on the perimeter in the offensive zone and prevented them from getting to rebounds.

"We were pressuring them while still being under control," Thomas said. "We had 20 guys working together to accomplish the same goal. In the third period, instead of chasing another (goal), our guys were finishing off the game."

Thomas played well, but most of the shots he faced were from long distance.

"He even said he didn't have many tough saves," Julien said. "There were a lot of shots from outside, and the guys cleared the shots away from the net."

Marty Turco stopped 26 shots for Dallas (2-1-3), but he didn't have much help.

"During the course of the season, you'll have some games where everything goes right, and some games that are the opposite, and tonight fell into the latter category," Stars coach Marc Crawford said.

The Stars absorbed their first regulation loss two nights after their best showing of the season in a 6-0 victory over Nashville.

"After a big win like that, we wanted to keep the ball rolling," Stars defenceman Stephane Robidas said. "But (the Bruins) were just a better team than us. They didn't do anything special. They used their size, used their speed and brought a lot of pucks to the net."

The Bruins dominated the opening period with a 14-7 shots edge in their first trip to Texas since Oct. 5, 2007.

Savard's sharp-angle goal off Robidas' stick 29 seconds after Dallas' Mike Ribeiro began serving a high-sticking penalty put Boston ahead at 13:32 of the first period. That broke the Bruins' 0-for-17 power-play drought.

"We knew exactly how they would play," Robidas said. "We got stuck in our own zone for most of the first period. We put ourselves in a hole."

Bergeron's deflection beat Turco at 3:35 of the second period. Savard's fifth goal of the season, 4:24 later on a one-timer from the right circle that also glanced off Robidas' stick, made it 3-0.

Notes: Stars D Nicklas Grossman went to the locker room for treatment after taking a puck to the face on a shot with 16:30 left in the second period. Grossman, who began the night with a league-best rating of plus-10, needed several stitches to close a cut under his left eye and returned for the third period. ... C Mike Modano (ribs) remains out for Dallas. ... Boston is without D Dennis Wideman (left shoulder).


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