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Bruins take series lead on Thomas' shutout

May 20, 2011 - 5:55 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Tim Thomas stopped all 31 shots he faced for his second career playoff shutout, as the Bruins earned a 2-0 victory over the Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

David Krejci and Andrew Ference scored for Boston, which holds a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series. The Bruins had won Game 2 by a 6-5 score, and will try to take control of the matchup Saturday, when the Lightning host Game 4.

Boston was boosted by the return of forward Patrice Bergeron, who had been out since suffering a concussion in Game 4 of the East semifinals against Philadelphia. He played a little more than 19 minutes and took two shots.

Tampa Bay goaltender Dwayne Roloson allowed both goals on 25 shots, and gave up the first only 69 seconds into the game.

Milan Lucic picked up a loose puck in the right corner before centering for a wide-open Krejci in front of the crease. Roloson moved forward to stop the forehand shot but quickly found himself out of position as Krejci shifted to the backhand.

Krejci easily shot past the goaltender, who was stretched out on his back and powerless to stop the puck.

Thomas made the lead stand, stopping 10 shots in the first period and six in the second.

"Thomas saw a lot of the pucks," said Lightning winger Martin St. Louis. "We didn't make his job tough enough."

Boston nearly scored a second goal with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the middle period, when it had the puck in the crease, but the Lightning quickly cleared it out.

But the Bruins did gain a 2-0 advantage at the 8:12 mark of the third. Andrew Ference's shot from the left point squeezed through Roloson's pads and trickled across the goal line.

"Getting the first quick goal definitely helped the whole team," Thomas said. "Not just sitting back in the third, but going out and getting that second goal made us able to stay relaxed and calm throughout the whole game."

Thomas turned aside 15 shots in the final period to secure the win.

Game Notes

Thomas' other playoff shutout came during the 2009 postseason, when he stopped 19 shots in a 4-0 victory over Carolina in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals...Both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play.