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I say that Sabres goalie Ryan Miller and Bruins goalie Tim Thomas dueled on Monday night at the TD Garden, but a more accurate statement would be to say that Miller dueled with an unusually energetic Bruins offense. The U.S. Olympian goaltender stopped 40 of 42 shots to lead the Sabres to the 3-2 win.
Tim Thomas, meanwhile, looked a lot like a backup goaltender (both for Team USA and for the Bruins). He played like Miller’s backup, and not a good one at that, in allowing three goals on just 14 shots before being pulled in front of a chorus of boos from the home crowd.
“The fact that I was leaving the ice? I don’t know what they were booing,” said Thomas.
Thomas’s replacement Tuukka Rask kept the team in the game, allowing zero goals on 19 shots. Rask has not been pulled from a game all season, while Thomas has hit the showers early a total of six times.
After the Bruins grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the first, Thomas coughed up three goals in the next 20 minutes of play, to Tyler Myers, Paul Gaustad, and Tim Kennedy.
“You don’t like to see it,” Ryan Miller said of the boos toward Thomas. “We are competitive to a certain degree, but I know he’s a little bit frustrated. I didn’t think there was a whole lot he could do on at least two of those goals.”
Among Miller’s top saves: a Marco Sturm penalty shot in the first period and a Mark Rechhi wrister as time expired in the third period to preserve the win. He wasn’t perfect though, allowing a goal in the first to David Krejci and a goal in the third to Dennis Seidenberg.
The Bruins didn’t lose any ground in the playoff race as top competitor Atlanta lost 4-1 to the Hurricanes. Next up for the B’s is a Tuesday night date with the Devils.