Barring any last minute decision to start Tim Thomas in tomorrow afternoon's regular season finale in New Jersey and a subsequent poor performance, the Bruins netminder will set the NHL single season save percentage record with a .9382 save percentage over 57 games this season. The Bruins goalie turned aside 31 of the 32 shots he faced this afternoon to earn his 35th win of the season in a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators in the final home regular season game of season at TD Garden.
Daniel Paille put the Bruins on the board 12:53 into the game. Gregory Campbell chased down a chip-in by Shawn Thornton behind the goal line and fed a perfect pass to Paille driving hard to the net.
Marlborough, MA native Bobby Butler knotted it up at 1-1 for the Senators with 1:33 left in the first period. The former UNH Wildcat had an open net to shoot at after Keystone Kops Shane Hnidy and Andrew Ference collided with Tim Thomas to take him out of the play. The opportunistic Butler was able to put the puck in the back of the net to reach the 10 goal mark for the season.
Nathan Horton's power play tally 1:08 into the middle period regained the lead for the Black & Gold. Senators goalie Curtis McElhinney kicked out Zdeno Chara's point drive with his right pad and Horton picked up the rebound at the left circle. Horton gained control of the rebound and chipped a backhander past the scrabbling McElhinney for his 26th goal.
The Bruins extended their lead to 3-1 with 5:08 remaining in the third period on a pretty goal by Rich Peverley. Peverley had the puck along the right wing half wall, stickhandled through the offensive zone to into the slot, and put a backhander past McElhinney on the stick side for a 2-goal lead late in the third period. The goal was Peverley's 17th of the season.
- Tim Thomas is now in line for the best save percentage in a regular season in NHL history (.9382 save percentage) since the NHL started tracking the stat during the 1982-'83 season. Dominik Hasek holds the record with .9366 for his performance during the 1998-'99 season. Chances are that Tim Thomas will sit out tomorrow afternoon's game in New Jersey and finish the regular season with the single season save percentage record.
- Mark Recchi moved into 4th place on the NHL's all-time games played list with 1,652 games played.
- Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Seidenberg were given the day off. Tyler Seguin and Shane Hnidy replaced them in the Bruins lineup.
- Merrimack College standout Stephane Da Costa and Marlborough, MA native/former UNH Wildcat Bobby Butler were both in the lineup for the Senators.
- Today's game was the final home regular season game of the season. The Bruins continued their "Shirt Off of Their Backs" tradition after the game, by giving out game worn jerseys to randomly selected fans.
- Daniel Paille is now riding a 4-game point streak (3 goals and an assist in last 4 games).
- Nathan Horton and Zack Smith dropped the gloves and came out swinging immediately off of a faceoff midway through the second period. Hotrton went to the dressing rooms after the bout after it appeared that he hurt his hand by striking the Smith's helmet, but the Bruins winger was back on the ice later in the period.
- Zdeno Chara put a game-high 7 shots on goal.
- The Bruins will close out the regular season with a 3:00 PM ET game against the New Jersey Devils in Newark, NJ.
- The Bruins will play either the Montreal Canadiens or Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the playoffs depending on how things shake out.
- Silver Seven has more on today's game.