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Huml gets first goal in helping Bruins win

10/20/2002

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- For a guy who just registered his first
NHL goal, Boston rookie Ivan Huml was in a panic.

Huml scored the game-winner, and Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots for
his first victory as the Bruins defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3
Saturday night.

''I hope someone's got the puck,'' the 21-year-old Czech forward
said. ''I was so excited I didn't ask for it.''

Huml, from Jaromir Jagr's home town of Kladno, Czech Republic,
already had an assist in the game before scoring at 15:39 of the
third period on a slap shot that deflected off the stick of
defenseman Jason Smith and past Tommy Salo.

''I tried to shoot it as hard as I could,'' Huml said. ''I saw
it went in, and I was very happy. That was one of my best games I
ever played,'' he said.

''His first goal, it's huge,'' Bruins captain Joe Thornton said.
''He's been plugging away and playing well for us. It's nice to see
him get the game-winner on Hockey Night in Canada.''

Nick Boynton, Brian Rolston and Jozef Stumpel also scored for
Boston (3-1-1).

Handing out the game puck was a tough task for the Bruins as
Thomas also was superb. The 28-year-old rookie was making his first
start after being called up from the AHL earlier this week. Thomas
played for Karpat of the Finnish Elite League last year, where he
went 15-12-5 with a 2.45 goals-against average.

''How could it have gone any better?'' he asked. ''I guess I
could've got a shutout, but it didn't matter.''

Thomas got his chance to play when John Grahame separated his
shoulder Wednesday.

Anson Carter, Mike York and Steve Staios scored for Edmonton
(1-3-1). The Oilers have looked mediocre in their first five games.

''It's a combination of poor play and Murphy's Law, and
normally, poor play leads to Murphy's Law,'' Oilers coach Craig
MacTavish said. ''We've got to get better in a hurry.

''We're certainly capable of it. We're not talking about
American League players. We're talking about world-class players
who are out of sync right now.''

Boston took a 1-0 lead when Boynton scored while the Bruins were
shorthanded. The defenseman joined a rush and buried a low shot
past Salo at 3:57 of the second period. It was the second consecutive game Edmonton has allowed a short-handed goal.

''You can't fall behind and expect to win,'' said Mike Comrie,
Edmonton's goal-scoring leader last season with 33. ''You're always
chasing and making plays when you probably shouldn't be because
you're trying to get goals back.''

Rolston made it 2-0 at 12:40 of the second, beating a screened
Salo.

The Bruins were banged up entering the game. Forwards Sergei Samsonov and Martin Lapointe were both injured. Lapointe broke a foot in Calgary on Thursday night, while Samsonov underwent an MRI on his jammed right wrist in Boston on Saturday. It is unlikely the results will be known before Monday.

''We've got a lot of guys that step up and I think that's key
for this team,'' Thornton said. ''We've got 20 guys in here that go
out and play hard and as long as we do that, we'll be successful.''

In an attempt to find some offense, MacTavish tried to mix up
the lines, playing grinder Ethan Moreau on the top unit with Comrie
and Carter. Ryan Smyth saw action on the fourth line with Todd
Marchant and Georges Laraque.

''We had trouble reading off one another,'' Marchant said.
''When you're not making plays together, it's not going to be a
good result.''

Staios' goal, also a short-handed tally, tied it 3-3.

''We seemed to get more organized in the third period,''
MacTavish said. ''We looked like an NHL hockey team, which, for the
first couple periods, I didn't think we were.''

Edmonton finished 1-for-7 with the man advantage.

Game notes
Huml led the Bruins in preseason goals with five, including
a hat trick against Pittsburgh on Oct. 1. ... Stumpel also added an
assist for Boston. ... Edmonton has scored six goals in the last
two games, both against backup goalies. In a 4-3 defeat against San Jose
on Thursday, the Oilers faced Vesa Toskala, No. 3 on the Sharks
goalie depth chart. ... Boston was 0-for-6 on the power play.