SAN JOSE, CA While the Bruins couldnt sustain enough momentum to transfer a modest two-game winning streak from the TD Garden onto the road, there was still a silver lining to the dull situation.
The Bruins may have dropped a 2-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks and they may have sputtered to a season-low 17 shots on net in defeat. There may have even been some serious soul-searching by the Bs forwards as a group following the defeat.
But Bs goaltender Tim Thomas once again played at the top end of his abilities and seems to be showing no signs of slowing down despite having just appeared in his 14th straight game in the loss to the Sharks.
Both goals allowed were off egregious turnovers near each of the blue lines: the Joe Pavelski goal was a second-effort scramble in front after a Milan Lucic turnover and the Daniel Winnik score was a rocket after Tyler Seguin couldnt handle a David Krejci drop pass at the offensive blue line.
Timmy made some big saves to allow us to stay into the game. The goal in the third period: the guy put a lot on it and went top shelf when we couldnt keep the puck at their blue line, said Claude Julien. We allowed two goals and we didnt allow a ton of shots. Offensively we just didnt have the legs to create a lot of attack.
Thomas stopped 25 out of 27 shots in the loss, and was keeping the Bruins in the game in the second period while making 12 stops as the Bs were outshot by a 12-4 margin. His scrambling stop of a Dan Boyle slapper from the high slot with Dominic Moore buzzing in front of him was the kind of stop he wasnt making when he was in the height of his struggles, and a leaping stop of a 2-on-1 from Logan Couture to Marty Havlat was some textbook Thomas.
Even Thomas had to admit that hes feeling pretty good at the moment: hes stopped .942 of the shots that hes facing over his last three games, hes got a 1.67 goals against average during that time period and hes giving the Bruins a chance to win each time out.
I feel like Im in a pretty good spot personally right now, said Thomas. Were having a hard time picking up and keeping momentum for long periods of time. The good news is that weve just recently shown how well we can play. We have to pick that up again Saturday.
If you had asked me before the game I would have thought we would carry it over. I felt like wed turned a corner. Hopefully we still have. Its hockey. Youre not going to win every game. Last year we won the Cup and won three Game 7s and that meant we lost three out of those seven games.
The irony shouldnt be lost on anyone that the 37-year-old goaltender playing in his 14th straight game might have been playing with the most energy of everybody on the ice. Now his teammates are going to need to match that for the remaining two games in California.