NEWARK, N.J. — It was the equivalent of a Bugs Bunny change-up — the one that the batter can swing at three to four times without making contact.
Bryce Salvadore’s floater from the left point went through Boston Bruins forward Martins Karsums and beat goaltender Tim Thomas with 10:54 elapsed in the second period for the lone goal in a 1-0 New Jersey win at Prudential Center. Thomas wasn’t sure if the puck hit Karsums or not, the goaltender just knew that he flat-out missed it.
“After it cleared Karsums, I picked it up right away,” Thomas said after the game. “I lost it into him, but I had plenty of time. I just wanted to make sure that with my stick I put it in the corner. And I moved my stick just a little bit too fast and basically just fanned on it.”
Thomas said that if he didn’t move his stick, the puck would have hit it and just bounced out front for a juicy rebound. So he moved the stick but failed to make contact. It was an otherwise stellar night for Thomas, who stopped 17 shots. Many of those shots were difficult chances, which made the Salvadore shot all the more difficult to stop.
“That was the easiest shot of the night. … All of a sudden, you get a shot that’s so soft … I don’t know, you just miss it,” said Thomas.