Thornton/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — The Bruins proved tonight that sometimes you really do play like you practice.

After two days of practice focused on competing and executing, Boston rode a two-goal performance by Shawn Thornton and all-around physical effort by everyone to a 4-1 win over Atlanta at TD Garden.

The Bruins took a page out of the Lunch Pail A.C. playbook by not only beating the Thrashers but beating them up. Thornton held his own during a lengthy bout with Eric Boulton just two seconds into the game and then an old-fashioned line brawl erupted in the third period after Freddy Meyer hit Milan Lucic up high. Andrew Ference jumped Meyer in response and all heck broke loose.

Here’s a quick glance at the box score:

•In addition to Thornton’s first two-goal game since Feb. 12, 2008, Patrice Bergeron (shorthanded) and Michael Ryder (power play) both scored. Thornton now has a new career high with seven goals.

•Tim Thomas finished with 26 saves on 27 shots to outduel Ondrej Pavelec in a battle of Vezina Trophy favorites.

•Daniel Paille, much-maligned for his lack of production, registered two assists.