Thornton/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — Shawn Thornton continued tonight to prove why he’s worth every penny the Bruins have paid him since he departing Anaheim for Boston in 2007.

With the Bruins down, 2-0, a little past the midway point of the first period, Thornton made a bee line for the biggest, baddest mother on the ice — New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard, who casts a mighty shadow with his 6-foot-7, 265-pound frame.

“Yeah, I was trying to get the boys going,” said Thornton, who surpassed the 500-PIM mark for his career in the Bruins’ 3-2 loss. “I mean, I think we did a pretty good job of turning it around. I think a couple of bounces went their way at the start. I think from myself and [Milan Lucic] getting into them, I think the guys did a pretty good job of battling pretty hard.”

To Thornton’s point, the Bruins outscored the Rangers, 2-1, after he fought Boogaard and Lucic threw down with Brandon Prust. Earlier in the game, Mark Stuart fought Sean Avery in the night’s opening bout.

Here’s a look at how Thornton handled himself against Boogaard:

“Does that surprise you?” Thornton responded when asked about it being a tactical fight. “I mean, he’s arguably the toughest guy in the league. There is no doubt about it, he is a big man. He’s got 6 inches and 60 pounds. I usually try and fight smart anyways, but I guess you have to be a bit more careful with a guy like that.”