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Bruins beat Senators 3-1 in home finale, Thomas gets record

April 9, 2011

Tim Thomas is your new single season save percentage record holder. (AP)

In what is almost certainly his last game of the regular season, Tim Thomas needed to have a good game to ensure himself some history. His 31-save performance ensured him the all-time record for save percentage in a season, beating Dominik Hasek‘s previous record of .9366 % with what is now .9381 %. Daniel Paille stayed hot by scoring a first period goal, Nathan Horton added his 26th goal and Rich Peverley had a nice goal to seal the 3-1 win against the Senators. Marlborough native Bobby Butler had the lone Sens goal in front of family and friends.

The game started with a lot of play in the offensive zones thanks to some loose defense to start and it nearly came back to bite the Bruins early. The Senators nearly scored on a shot from Chris Phillips who hit the post straight on from the circle.

The two teams skated like there wasn’t much to play for, probably because there wasn’t. The Bruins had a very outside chance of getting the No. 2 seed and the Senators were merely three hours away from the end of their season.

The Bruins would break through with the game’s first goal 13 minutes in when Daniel Paille put in a shot from the paint past a helpless Curtis McElhinney. Shawn Thornton led the rush out and eventually Gregory Campbell raced down the puck at the goal line, wheeled and threw a pass out front to the trailing Paille who put in the one-timer for an easy goal.

The Bruins would take the game’s first penalty a few shifts later when Nathan Horton went to the box for high-sticking. The Bruins killed the penalty off despite some good moments from Ottawa including some scrably moments immediately after the penalty expired.

Bobby Butler would put the Senators on the board late in the period when the Bruins turned the puck over in their own zone. Jason Spezza intercepted a pass in the slot and quickly fed Butler. Butler initially fanned on the shot but followed it through traffic and popped it into the open net after Tim Thomas lost sight of the puck.


The Bruins would get a quick power-play when Ryan Shannon was called for high-sticking, giving the Bruins a four minute power-play. The Bruins would score five seconds later when Nathan Horton whirled a backhander over the goalie off a rebound. The Bruins won the draw back to Zdeno Chara who unleashed a good, low shot on net. Horton went to the weak side, corralled the bouncing puck and then roofed a backhander top corner. However, after the goal Milan Lucic was called for a penalty, nullifying the second half of the four-minute minor. Lucic was called for roughing when he slashed and punched a Sen after the goal.

The Bruins continued to look a little scrambly in their own zone, struggling to get the puck out of their own zone. Nathan Horton would drop the gloves with Zack Smith right off of a faceoff. Smith handed Horton his lunch at first but Horton stuck in there and landed a few shots of his own. Horton immediately went down the tunnel to get checked out.

Milan Lucic would go back to the box towards the end of the period when he was called for high-sticking, giving the Senators another chance to even the game late in the period. The Bruins killed off the penalty pretty well, keeping their goalie safe throughout.

The Bruins would get a power-play with just over two minutes left in the period when Michael Ryder drew a high stick on a nice individual effort. The Bruins put together an impressive power-play but couldn’t score.


The Bruins would get an early power-play thanks to a Jason Spezza takedown behind the Ottawa net. The Bruins had a high energy power-play, notched five shots, but couldn’t score despite a few good looks. Tim Thomas needed to be sharp in the firs half of the period, making numerous big saves to bail out his defenses bad shifts. His best save came on a partial break by Erik Condra. Thomas saved the shot that was labeled five-hole and then fell on the loose puck to keep it out.

With five minutes left Rich Peverley put the game out of reach with a nice individual effort for a backhanded goal. Peverley had the puck on the right boards, swooped middle, and then deked backhand and lifted it over a screened McElhinney for the two-goal pad.

Ottawa pulled their goalie with 90 seconds left, trying to end their season with a goal. The Sens would have to put the goalie back in net a few times because of faceoffs but it didn’t matter as the Bruins came away with the win in their last home game of the regular season.

The Bruins wrap up the regular season tomorrow in New Jersey.

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