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Thomas Makes 34 Saves, Bruins Beat Rangers 3-2

Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers has his shot blocked by Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins makes a save during their game on November 17, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers has his shot blocked by Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins makes a save during their game on November 17, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) – Bruins goalie Tim Thomas liked how his teammates controlled the pace of the game and made his job a bit easier in the third period.

Thomas made 15 of his 34 saves in the third period, turning away three shots when Boston was down two men in the third and lifting the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

“We did a good job of moving the puck fast in the first and getting it into their zone and that helped us conserve energy,” said Thomas, who improved to 10-1 this season. “That last push there in the third took a lot of energy out of a few of our guys but overall we were good at not making it more difficult for ourselves.”

Milan Lucci, 18-year-old Tyler Seguin and 42-year-old Mark Recchi scored three consecutive goals as Boston won its second straight in improving to 7-1 on the road. The Bruins have scored 21 goals in their past five road games.

Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik scored for New York. But the Rangers saw its three-game winning streak snapped in losing in regulation for the first time in seven games (5-1-1) against a Northeast Division opponent.

Henrik Lundqvist made 17 saves in dropping to 14-5-2 all-time against Boston. New York built a 36-20 edge in shots and recorded almost twice as many hits (34-18) over the Bruins.

“It’s a battle every night and if we can play like this every game we’re going to have a lot of good games and a lot of points,” Lundqvist said.

Recchi scored his second goal 1:10 into the final period to give Boston a 3-1 cushion that was needed when Gaborik netted his fourth goal at 5:26.

Dubinsky scored on the power play and the Rangers did not allow a power-play goal for the fourth straight game. The Blueshirts have killed all 14 opportunities in that stretch and have surrendered just one in the last seven contests.

With Andrew Ference off for high-sticking, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was called for a delay of game when his clearing attempt went over the glass at 14:13 of the third, setting up a 5-on-3 power play for 1:45. But Thomas made three saves during the sequence for the kill, including a sliding stop on Ryan Callahan near the left post to preserve the victory.

“It was right there next to the pad there,” Callahan said. “I was just trying to jam it home. I still don’t know how it didn’t go in.”

Added Thomas: “I was very lucky to get the first toe on it. It was supposed to be a pass and hit off two things and I ended up seeing it at the very last second. I was just fortunate to be able to flop in a way that actually covered the rebound.”

Boston received a lift when Seguin sent a shot past Lundqvist to break a 1-all tie 16:35 into the second. That marked Seguin’s fourth goal to boost a team that played its fifth game in eight days.

“I just read the play, went down the wide zone and saw the top glove and put it there,” Seguin said.

“I’m getting more confidence every day and I’m learning all the little things that come with this league,” he added.

Recchi extended the visitor’s lead when his shot hit Lundqvist’s left skate and trickled over the goal line just 70 seconds into the third period. Recchi notched his 565th career goal and has two goals and four assists in his last five games.

“It was just a terrible goal,” Lundqvist said.

Dubinsky drew the Rangers’ first power-play opportunity in two games, taking Horton’s stick to the face to draw a double-minor 4:19 into the second. That gave New York its first man-advantage in 89 minutes, 24 seconds.

After failing to generate a single shot on goal for nearly three minutes of the man advantage, Dubinsky sent a wrist shot from the right circle past Thomas’ glove side at 7:10 for a 1-0 lead. Dubinsky has 14 points in his last 14 games.

“I thought we worked pretty hard tonight,” Dubinsky said. “A couple of turnovers ended up in the back of our net in the second. For the most part we played the game plan we wanted to do.”

Horton made up for his penalty four minutes later, sending a crisp centering pass from the side wall that Lucic slammed home from the slot for his seventh goal at 11:06.

“Our defensive zone coverage has been a lot better,” Boston center Patrice Bergeron said. “In the third period, it wasn’t our best effort but we’ve been able to keep them to the outside. Even though they were in our zone, they weren’t creating too many chances.”

Boston is now 3-3-1 when the opposing team scores first. The club is 7-0 when gaining the initial lead.

Notes: The Rangers debuted their third jersey as part of the celebration for the franchise’s 85th anniversary season. Callahan entered with a league-leading 71 hits and recorded four against the Bruins. Hall of Famers Rod Gilbert and Ed Giacomin were two of several former Rangers in attendance for Heritage Night. Boston D Johnny Boychuk (left forearm) missed his 10th straight game. Boychuk skated during warmups but was scratched. … Bruins coach Claude Julien coached his 500th NHL game.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)