Bruins Vs. Rangers: Boston Relies On Tim Thomas To Defeat New York, Clinch Northeast

Apr. 1, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Artem Anisimov (42) and right wing Ryan Callahan (24) take a shot on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Boston's goaltending stood strong, taking Sunday's final match against the Rangers to finally clinch the division with a 2-1 victory.

Marian Gaborik scored his 40th goal of the season, but it wasn't enough to stop the Boston Bruins from coming back and beating the New York Rangers, 2-1, in Sunday's nationally-televised evening game. With the victory, Boston not only beat New York for the first time this season but also clinched the Northeast Division.

Essentially, the Bruins can thank Tim Thomas, who had a night to forget in his last start against the Washington Capitals after he quickly allowed the Caps the lead and then lost in the shootout. Thomas was so mad in the end he stormed to the bench and ... stumbled in the tunnel to the locker room. However, Thomas nobly redeemed himself Sunday night by making 33 saves and holding Gaborik's early first-period marker as the only point registered by a Ranger.

Boston, playing from behind, was helped by two goals in the second period from Dennis Seidenberg and Patrice Bergeron, the latter coming on the power play. Once the offense got the Bruins back in the game, it was time for Thomas to support the effort. The Rangers held the Bruins to just three shots in the third period, while firing 11 of their own, but Thomas was there to stop every one of them and hold on to the fragile-but-steady 2-1 lead for the win.

The Blueshirts weren't able to clinch first-place in the East with the loss, but they'll have another chance in their next game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

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