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Another game, another Bruins win over the Thrashers. It seemed like just another night at the ice rink in the TD Garden, but considering the Bruins upcoming schedule, it was anything but that. It had to be hard for the players to concentrate considering the city’s excitement over the Winter Classic at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day. Despite all the distractions, the Bruins were focused on win No. 20, and they got that in a 4-0 drubbing of the Atlanta Thrashers Wednesday night.
The B’s didn’t waste any time getting on the board, as they lit the lamp three times in the opening period to help the Bruins to their ninth straight win against the Thrashers overall, including a 6-4 victory over them a week ago.
Byron Bitz got the scoring started when he got a goal past Ondrej Pavelec just seven minutes into the game. Marco Sturm scored his 13th goal of the year on the power play six minutes later, and Steve Begin tallied his third goal of the year, and the Bruins third goal of the period, against Pavelec, who was pulled again for the second straight game against the B’s.
Pavelec, the starting goalie for the Thrashers, has allowed six goals in his last two games against the Bruins. Overall, the 22-year-old is 9-10-3 with 3.42 GAA.
His sub, veteran Johan Hedberg, finished with 19 saves in 20 chances to keep the Bruins at bay. Patrice Bergeron, who was named to the Canadian Olympic Hockey team on Wednesday, celebrated with a goal in the second period off Hedberg.
Tuukka Rask didn’t face much of a challenge, but he turned away all 18 shots to earn the shutout win.
The Bruins next take the ice inside the confines of friendly Fenway Park on Friday against the Flyers on New Year’s Day. Stay tuned to Sports of Boston for full coverage of the Winter Classic.