- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- On Saturday, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara made another dent in the All-Star record book when he broke his own record of 105.4 mph in the hardest shot contest with a 105.9 mph shot. Then on Sunday, Bruins teammate Tim Thomas established a new record by becoming the first goalie to earn three straight wins in the NHL All-Star Game. Thomas made 11 saves in the third period to help Team Lidstrom beat Team Staal 11-10 at the RBC Center.
Thomas and Team Lidstrom had a two-goal lead in the final minute but Eric Staal scored with 34 ticks left and Thomas had to save the day -- as he has all season for the Bruins -- by making a flurry of saves in the final seconds. When the final horn sounded, Thomas looked to the goalie heavens and raised his arms. Afterward Thomas told the media he was extremely relieved to get out of there with his record-setting win.
"I was happy it was over without getting another shot," Thomas said of the frantic final minute. "I wanted to get that win because it was the third win and then you're up with two goals with a minute left and you're like 'OK' and then Staal takes a shot and it goes off a stick and I go 'Oh no!' So I was very relieved when it was over."
While the All-Star Game is for fun, the competitive Thomas is still proud to be part of All-Star history.
"It meant a lot and it was a chance to be in some sort of record books and I don't think too many people are checking out the All-Star record books but it definitely meant something to me," Thomas said.
Getting the record-setting win meant enough that Thomas began campaigning Friday to teammate and longtime friend Martin St. Louis to get the third-period nod so he would have the best chance at the win. He continued by telling Team Lidstrom head coach Joel Quenneville he would gladly wait until the third to play.
"Basically I volunteered for the third because it gives you the best chance to get that on your record," Thomas said. "I didn't win the game for the team but I was able to be the winning goalie on record. Being in the third period you have the best chance of getting that."
8dJoe McDonald and Kyle Brasseur
44dKyle Brasseur, Special to ESPNBoston.com