Tim Thomas stood on his head on Wednesday night in Philadelphia to earn his 5th shutout of the year as the Bruins downed the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. Thomas stopped all 41 shots he faced and turned aside a penalty shot to become the first goalie in the NHL to start a season 9-0-0 on the road since Glenn Hall accomplished the feat during the '65-'66 season while playing for the Chicago Blackhawks.
A tripping call on Nikolay Zherdev 4:51 into the game led to a power play goal by Patrice Bergeron that gave the Bruins an early 1-0 lead. Milan Lucic put a nifty move on Sergei Bobrovsky and got off a backhander that forced the rookie goalie to scramble to make a save. The rebound came to a complete stop in the middle of the crease and Sean O'Donnell tried to clear the puck from danger, but ended up giving Bergeron an early Christmas present with a gift-wrapped turnover in the slot that found its way directly to the blade of Bergeron's stick. Bergeron shot the puck into the virtually empty net for his 4th goal of the season at 5:40 of the first period.
The Bruins extended their lead to 2-0 on Tyler Seguin's 5th goal of the season. Michael Ryder and Tyler Seguin broke in 2-on-1 and Ryder fed a perfect pass to Seguin before the rookie roofed the puck over Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Bruins an early 2-goal lead at 15:12 of the opening period.
Jody Shelley and Shawn Thornton shed the mittens and started throwing haymakers just over a minute after Seguin's goal. Both fighters wasted no time and came out swinging hard, but after a long bout both men were still standing. Shelley and Milan Lucic got into it a bit earlier in the game and this may have been a carry over.
Scott Hartnell was given a penalty shot after he was hauled down by Andrew Ference (and went down pretty easily I might add) late in the second period. The official call was a hook not a trip, so I guess Hartnell's apparent triple lindy did not make much difference. Hartnell's backhand attempt on the ensuing penalty shot was kicked out by the left pad of Thomas before Hartnell went crashing head first in the end boards. The only injury was to his Hartnell's ego.
Milan Lucic's empty net chip shot from just inside the blue line with 1:48 left in the game gave the Bruins the dreaded 3-0 lead, but clearly even the Bruins cannot blow a 3-goal lead with under 2 minutes to play. The empty net goal made Milan Lucic the first Bruin to reach the 20-point mark this season and accounted for the 3-0 final score.
- I would say that Thomas should shave that hideous mustache since it is now December, but stick with what is working for you, Timmy.
- This was a hyped-up game against Philly and Thomas was playing out of his mind, so naturally Jack Edwards was in full hyper-ventilation mode. Here are a few of my favorite gems from tonight:
"Ronald McDonald [Scott Hartnell] did the Locks for Love thing for charity"
"Powe, who is an onamonapia"
- Zdeno Chara limped to the bench after taking a shot off the foot in the third period, but returned to the game. Hopefully, that foot doesn't swell up after he takes his skate off and he can play tomorrow night
- The B's did not play a perfect game tonight. In fact it was far from it. They took way too many penalties and they allowed too many shots from some dangerous spots on the ice. Fortunately, the Bruins were able to play with the lead and rely on the rock solid Tim Thomas in net.
- Tim Thomas gave Scott Hartnell a swipe in the face with his catch hand after Hartnell took and extra poke at the goaltender in the second period. Hartnell was tagged with a 2-minute minor for slashing, while Thomas received a roughing minor.
- Former UNH Wildcat James van Riemsdyk played in his 100th NHL game.
- Milan Lucic is padding his stats with all these empty-netters. He now has 3 freebies on the season and is tied for the league lead in empty net goals with Rick Nash.
- The Bruins are back in action tomorrow night when they return home to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- The Bruins and Flyers will run this one back in about a week and a half when the B's host the Flyers on Saturday, December 11th.
- For more on tonight's game, check out Broad Street Hockey