BRUINS NOTEBOOK;No. 30’s not playing like No. 2 goalie

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas isn’t going
quietly into the backup role behind Tuukka Rask.

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.”

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

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.”

Caron connects

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.” . . .

Coach Claude Julien left forwards Brian McGrattan and Daniel
Paille and defenseman Adam McQuaid out of the lineup. McGrattan has
yet to dress through three games.

Century Mark

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