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A day after the Bruins failed to acquire a desperately needed goal-scorer, the team took the ice against the Maple Leafs, which served as a grim reminder they traded their best goal scorer to Toronto: Phil Kessel.
The only “significant” offensive player added since Kessel’s departure was perhaps free agent signee Miroslav Satan, who had himself a strong outing on Thursday night. He scored a goal in regulation and the only goal in the shootout to lead the Bruins to a 3-2 win, helping to end the team’s 10-game home losing streak. It was the team’s first win at “home” since the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Fenway Park, and their first win at the TD Garden since Dec. 30, 2009.
Olympic Silver Medalist Tim Thomas was forced into action after Tuukka Rask was deemed unable to play. Lately a backup for Team USA and the Bruins, Thomas was impressive on Thursday against the Leafs, finishing with 24 saves.
To begin the second, it was a 1-1 game after goals by Satan and Toronto’s Viktor Stalberg. Johnny Boychuk made it 2-1 with his sharp shot in the second period.
The Maple Leafs tied up the game in the third period on Tyler Bozak’s fourth goal of the year, but that was all for regulation. Thomas stoned the Leafs in overtime and the shootout as well, allowing a grand total of zero goals the rest of the way.
Despite the two blemishes, Thomas had a strong night in net for the B’s. He made some key stops, including a breakaway in the second period.
“I was trying to show the team they can have some confidence in me again,” said Thomas, who had not won since Jan. 14 and had not started since Feb. 2, a hiatus that included the last seven Bruins games and the entire Olympic tournament. “I’m not going to lie: This feels really good right now. It’s the first one I’ve had in a long time, and it’s the first one at home in a long time.”
He also stopped Team USA teammate and former Bruins teammate Phil Kessel three times, including in the shootout. (Info from AP)
“At the Olympics, at the end of every practice, I probably took 400 breakaways after practice,” Thomas said, “and 40 of them were against Phil.”
The ever-so-ridiculous Don Cherry, the former Bruins coach, dropped the first puck and joined the TV broadcast for some memorable banter. He called out Milan Lucic for “backing down” in a fight in the first period. He also called out Mike Millbury for his Euro-trash comment about the Russians.
The Bruins next take the ice on Saturday against the Islanders.