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After a shaky start on the road this season, Tim Thomas is starting to look more comfortable in goal for the Boston Bruins.
Thomas will likely be in net and looking for his fourth straight road win as Boston (10-9-2) goes for a sweep of its two-game series with the Toronto Maple Leafs (13-8-4) on Tuesday night.
Thomas gave up 14 goals while losing his first three road starts this season, but has since turned it around. Including a 27-save performance in a 3-1 win Saturday at Toronto, Thomas has allowed five total goals in his last three road games, including two starts.
"It's important to start winning games anywhere, period, but in our division it's even bigger," Thomas said. "Toronto was 10 points ahead of us before this game so these are four-point games. They're huge."
The only goal Thomas allowed Saturday was to Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin, who returned after missing seven games with a torn elbow ligament. Sundin has four goals and six assists during a six-game point streak, but said he's not quite 100 percent yet.
"It felt like I haven't played in three weeks," he said. "The timing and all that is going to take a few games, obviously, but it will get better from here on."
With 505 goals, Sundin needs three more to move past Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau into 32nd place all-time.
Another hot player Thomas will have to contend with is Darcy Tucker. The right wing assisted on Sundin's goal to extend his point streak to a season high-tying five games. He has five goals and three assists in that span.
Tucker is off to an outstanding start to the season, with 16 goals to tie him for second in the NHL. He's scored a league-high 11 power-play goals.
Tucker, listed at 5-foot-10, was involved in a fight at center ice Saturday with Bruins defenseman Paul Mara after leveling 6-9 Zdeno Chara with a clean but heavy check late in the first period.
"I didn't see him coming," Tucker said of Mara. "From what I hear, he had his gloves off before he got to the pile."
Boston got first-period goals from Petr Tenkrat and Marc Savard before Brad Boyes added an insurance goal with less than five minutes left in the game. Patrice Bergeron and Chara each added two assists.
Chara, one of the Bruins' marquee free-agent signings in the offseason, recorded his first multipoint effort since Boston's second game of the season Oct. 7.