BRUINS NOTEBOOK;No. 30's not playing like No. 2 goalie
Thomas produced his second spectacular effort in as many games in last night's 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. He finished with 31 saves and has allowed only one goal in two starts, the first outing being a 29-stop shutout against the Phoenix Coyotes a week ago in Prague.
''Our goal coming in was to start working our way up those standings,'' Thomas said. ''I feel real good and the team has played real well in front of me. If we can keep doing that, I'll do my job on the back end.''
The Bruins lacked energy in the opening 10 minutes of the first period and Thomas was besieged from all sides. He stopped a hard shot by Devils defenseman Matt Taormina from the top of the right circle at 4:42, then was perfectly positioned to deny a Travis Zajac bid from the right circle at 5:20. The goalie got lucky when Jacob Josefson fanned on an open shot during a power play at 15:50, but he followed that play with spectacular back-to-back stops on Taormina and Jason Arnott less than two minutes later.
''There were a lot of shots from the point that I didn't get to see clearly, or I would see it then lose it through traffic,'' Thomas said. ''I had a hard time controlling the rebounds because of the traffic. That made it a fun night in the scramble for the rebounds.''
The opening minute of the second period saw Thomas stuff Devils sniper Ilya Kovalchuk on the end of a 2-on-1 break-in.
''I saw the turnover and I saw the play developing,'' Thomas said. ''(Patrik) Elias made the pass, but the first thing I was doing was trying to respect that shot; I didn't want to give (Elias) an easy shot. When he passed to Kovalchuk it was kind of an `oh no' time. (Kovalchuk) made a move and just by pure reaction I was able to get a toe on it.''
Bruins rookie Jordan Caron scored his first NHL goal, tying the game at 1 at 5:38 of the second period. Caron's special moment tasted sweeter because he scored against legendary goalie Martin Brodeur.
''It is a great feeling to score my first NHL goal against Brodeur, who is a great goalie, maybe one of the best ever,'' Caron said. ''I think that is a bonus to score against him; it gives you a good feeling.'' . . .
Mark Recchi competed against the Devils for the 100th time, a remarkable milestone in a career full of them for the 42-year-old, 23-year veteran.
Recchi entered the game with 33 goals and 44 assists against a Devils franchise known for its trapping defense. He added to those totals when he assisted on a Michael Ryder tally that made it 2-1 at 10:44 of the second period.
''That just speaks volumes about what he's been all about,'' Julien said. ''For our team he's a been a real good fit, and with a lot of young players we needed stability and veteran leadership. I think we can figure on another milestone in almost every game.''