Tim Thomas collects first win as member of Panthers


It’s been a while for Tim Thomas.

But the polarizing 39-year-old goaltender collected the win for the Florida Panthers against the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

It was Thomas’ first win since April 22, 2012, when he was competing for the Boston Bruins in the opening round of the playoffs against the Washington Capitals.

Thomas, the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy winner when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, took the entire 2013 season off, before coming back for the 2013-14 campaign.

As an unrestricted free agent, he signed a one-year deal worth $3.75 million toward the end of September.

On Thursday, he allowed only two goals on 27 shots, as the Panthers scored three unanswered goals in the third period to beat the Stars by a final of 4-2.

“I said after the first, ‘how good is Thomas?’,” Panthers forward Scottie Upshall told the Miami Herald. “He makes the saves, catches the puck. He’s the backbone of this team.”

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?