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Thomas saves the day

EVERYTHING is back to normal for Tim Thomas at the Bell Center.

Denis Wideman, Shawn Thornton and Marc Savard scored and Thomas made 27 saves to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday in Montreal, Canada.

The Boston goalie drew cheers one week earlier in the NHL All-Star game in Montreal after leading the Eastern Conference squad to a 12-11 shootout win.

"When I got called out for the first star there, they were booing and that's the way it should be," Thomas said. "That's what rivalries are all about."

The Bruins beat their Northeast Division rival for the fourth time in a row, improving to 4-1 this season against the Canadiens.

Wideman scored with 0.6 seconds remaining in the first period to tie the game 1-1. The Bruins defenceman got his 11th goal when he moved up in the slot to beat Carey Price with a wrist shot into the top left corner.

Thornton got credit for his fifth goal 8:02 into the second.

"I just snapped it and honestly there were a lot of bodies there and I don't know where it went or if it went off anybody," Thornton said.

Savard scored into an empty net with 56.5 seconds remaining to extend his points streak to eight games.

Boston, which beat the New York Rangers 1-0 on Saturday, has recorded points in six straight games and has lost only once in regulation in its last 11 (8-1-2).

"We've had young kids this year that have come of age, we've had some key additions to the team, we've had guys step up when other players were injured, and then we've had veteran players that have raised their game," Thomas said. "And the coaches have done a great job - all the work they've put in from 10 different areas has started to pay off."

The Canadiens have lost five of six.

"It was a pretty even game for both sides for the whole 60 minutes, but I think a lesson that we got today was the way they played defensively and the way they play a system," Montreal's Saku Koivu said.

In the league's only two other games on Sunday, the Washington Capitals crushed the Ottawa Senators 7-4 and Nashville defeated Edmonton 2-1.

In Washington, Alex Ovechkin scored three goals for his seventh career hat trick and second of the season to lead the Capitals past the Senators.

Ovechkin's hat trick extended his NHL-leading total to 37 goals this season. He has scored at least two goals four times in the last seven games, and now has 199 career goals in his fourth NHL season.

He completed the hat trick with 4:29 left in the second period when he took a pass from Sergei Federov near the left boards at the blue line. Ovechkin skated in and put a shot through defenseman Filip Kuba's legs - the second time he'd gone through Kuba's legs for a score - and past goaltender Alex Auld.

"It's amazing he manages to get shots through the defense's legs," said Eric Fehr, who also had a second-period goal for Washington.


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