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Always expect the unexpected. For the Bruins and Tim Thomas, they were faced with the unlikely hero for the Atlanta Thrashers in Tim Stapleton. Stapleton had been called up early in the day and was the first player sent out for the Thrashers in the shootout. He slipped the puck past Thomas on his attempt as his team went on to give Atlanta the 3-2 victory over Boston.
The Thrashers were led by Tobias Enstrom with his two goals in regulation as Atlanta improved its record to 20-14-6 on the season (46 points). For the Bruins, the team’s two goals came from Blake Wheeler and Patrice Bergeron. The overtime-loss snapped Boston’s three-game win streak as the team’s record is now 20-11-5 (45 points). The Bruins are still standing tall as they sit atop the Northeast Division, three points ahead of Montreal.
Tim Thomas started in goal for the Bruins and played very well in regulation, it was just the shootout that he struggled in. In regulation he saved 30-of-32 shots on goal. His record now stands at 18-4-4 on the season. Thomas knows that the team played well, they just couldn’t finish.
“Yeah, we played well. If it weren’t for that darn scoreboard, we could have walked away from here feeling good,” Thomas said. “We made a lot of good plays, we just didn’t finish.”
For the Thrashers Ondrej Pavelec started in goal and played exceptionally well. He stopped 40-of-42 shots and was perfect in the shootout as well. With the win Pavelec improved to 13-8-4 on the season. His teammate also had a lot of praise for the goalie after the game.
“We have been struggling a little bit lately and it feels so good to be back on track,” Enstrom said. “With Ondrej in the net, he gives us a chance to win every night.”
The Bruins will have Friday to recuperate before taking on the Buffalo Sabres on New Years Day. Buffalo has continued to be a mediocre team thus far this season. The Sabres are currently 15-18-4 and are sitting in second to last in the Northeast.