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Associated Press
11/15/2006 10:30:24 PM


WASHINGTON (AP) - Once the game went to a shootout, the Boston Bruins had everything stacked in their favour.

Tim Thomas had done very little work in goal over the previous 25 minutes and was feeling surprisingly fresh. Even more significant was the Washington Capitals' miserable record this season when the game extends past overtime.

Thomas stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout, and Patrice Bergeron scored the lone goal in the extra session to lift the Bruins to a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.

After Bergeron beat Olie Kolzig, Thomas snuffed a shot by Matt Pettinger to secure the victory and drop the Capitals to 0-4 in shootouts.

Thomas stopped 33 shots before foiling Alexander Semin, Alex Ovechkin and Pettinger in the shootout. Thomas was winless in two shootouts this season, but he faced only seven shots in the third period and one in overtime and thus felt unusually spry in the net.

"I've gone into some shootouts when I faced 15 shots in the third period and then six in the overtime," he said. "I was fresh. It might have helped me."

It might not have mattered how Thomas felt, because the Capitals have missed all 10 of their shootout attempts this season.

"Yeah, we'll score. It's just a matter of time," coach Glen Hanlon said. "I have the utmost confidence in Semin, Ovechkin and Pettinger. It's unproductive to sit in misery here and think it's never going to go our way."

It didn't happen against Thomas, who was also outstanding in the net during the 65 minutes that both teams were on the ice.

"He gave us a chance to win," said Bergeron, whose winner deflected off Kolzig's stick.

In the second period, the Capitals peppered Thomas with 17 shots but only scored once.

"I thought Timmy Thomas had his best game," coach Dave Lewis said.

The Bruins got first-period goals from Phil Kessel and Brad Stuart in their second road win in seven games.

Dainius Zubrus scored his 12th goal and Pettinger had a short-handed tally for the Capitals, who trailed 2-0 in the game's 15th minute. Kolzig had 33 saves, and Ovechkin and Semin each had an assist.

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