Thomas gets 25th shutout, first vs. Habs

BOSTON -- Earlier this week, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said he felt back to normal after he ended a personal four-game winless streak with a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Thomas proved that again Thursday night when he made 24 saves en route to his eighth shutout of the season in Boston’s 7-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. In fact, it was his first career shutout against the Habs, a team that has always given him a tough time.

“I didn’t realize it was my first,” he said, stunned after the game. “I didn’t know that. Having said that, it’s the 25th of my career and it’s a memorable one. I’ve been on the other end of the spectrum over the years, playing against Montreal. It’s a nice victory I’ll remember forever.”

Thomas continues his march toward his second career Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, improving to 31-10-8 this season.

“He’s picking up his game,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “We gave him a little bit of a rest, and you could see at one point he really needed it. The past two games he’s been pretty solid.”

Even though Thomas is locked in, Julien also plans on giving backup Tuukka Rask some playing time in the remaining nine games of the regular season.

“I don’t think it’s wise at this stage to use the same goaltender,” explained Julien. “But at the same time, it’s important that he gets in a rhythm. Tuukka has to be there, as well. Tuukka’s been playing well lately and you never know what can happen down the road. You have to make sure both goaltenders are ready to go, as well.”