Series (Game 3 of 4)

Boston leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 26th
Game 2: Thursday, December 5th
Game 3: Saturday, December 28th
Game 4: Friday, January 17th

Bruins 1

(21-10-1, 47 pts)

Jets 0

(9-21-4, 23 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 28, 2002

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 T
BOS 1 0 01
WPG 0 0 00

J. Grahame (Bruins - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: 1.000

S. O'Donnell (Bruins - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

P. Nurminen (Jets - G): Saves: 34, Save Pct.: .971

Grahame stops 29 shots for Bruins

ATLANTA (AP) -- He had the only goal, but Rob Zamuner wanted to share the credit with his teammates.

Zamuner scored on a power play late in the first period and John Grahame made it stand, stopping 29 shots as the Boston Bruins beat the Atlanta Thrashers 1-0 Saturday night.

"Everybody contributed," Zamuner said. "This kind of win helps the team's confidence."

Grahame got his fourth career shutout, and Boston improved to 2-6-1 in its last nine games.

"I didn't have to make too many big saves," Grahame said. "You have to give credit to the guys for playing smart. We made good decisions."

The Bruins spoiled the home debut of Atlanta interim coach and general manager Don Waddell, who took over Thursday when he fired Curt Fraser. Fraser watched most of the game from a suite next to the press box.

"Our play down low has been a lot better," Waddell said. "More than half their shots came from outside the faceoff circles. Normally, we give up a lot more opportunities down low.

"By collapsing, we're forcing them to shoot from the walls and from the point. Those are the saves that our goalies can make."

The Thrashers, who beat Carolina for the first time ever Friday night in Waddell's first game behind the bench, have lost 10 of 12 -- twice in overtime. They fell to 4-11 in one-goal games.

Zamuner redirected a shot from Sean O'Donnell from just in front of the crease at 16:31 of the first period, and the puck slipped passed Pasi Nurminen. Atlanta defenseman Andy Sutton was serving a minor for cross-checking after he leveled Andy Hilbert by the net.

"I didn't see anything," Nurminen said of the goal. "I don't know why these goals find their way in against our team. It's a shame that kind of goal wins the game."

Nurminen, playing because Byron Dafoe missed his third straight game with a score groin, finished with 34 saves.

"Pasi gave us an opportunity to win the game," Waddell said. "I thought he made a couple of really good saves in the first period, and then he shut them down from then on."

The Thrashers had several chances in the third period to tie it, including an early four-minute power play. Boston's Glen Murray was called for slashing, then got another two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct after arguing.

Atlanta got only one shot, though, an off-balanced wrist shot from the slot by Yannick Tremblay, and Grahame easily smothered the puck.

That epitomized the Thrashers' struggles with the man advantage. They finished 0-for-3 and never put much pressure on Grahame, and didn't get a shot on their first power play.

"We were aggressive in the third period," Zamuner said. "We forced them to make plays quicker than they wanted to."

Dany Heatley had a final chance to tie it, corralling a faceoff with 8 seconds left. But Grahame kicked away the slap shot.

"I think the best scoring chance they had was the last shot by Heatley," Boston coach Robbie Ftorek said. "That would have been a killer."

Game notes
Grahame's last shutout was Feb. 4, 2002, against Columbus. ... Heatley played his second game after missing five with a strained groin. ... The Bruins are 9-4-1-1 against the Thrashers, but the combined score of those games is 48-48. ... Boston has won three in a row in Atlanta.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press