Bruins Overtime: Third Period's A Charm; Thornton's Got Hands

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10: Shawn Thornton #22 of the Boston Bruins gets the puck past Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets on a penalty shot awarded to Thornton in the second period on January 10, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Bruins finished off the Winnipeg Jets 5-3, but it took them until the third period to do it on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Bruins Overtime is a postgame feature providing extra news, notes and analysis from each game. Boston defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 5-3, on Tuesday night in Boston, MA.

It's incredible how consistent the Bruins have been when it comes to the third period this season. While some teams tire out and others try and maintain leads in the final frame, the Bruins are always finding ways to jump back into the game and run away with it by the time the final horn sounds.

In fact the numbers tell the story--the B's have outscored their opponents 60-23 in the third period this season. They almost triple their opponents in goals in the last twenty minutes of play. On Tuesday, Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin and Benoit Pouliot all had late game nettings.

But that doesn't shy away from the fact that the first two periods they looked a little fatigued.

"We didn’t have enough energy – we didn’t have enough emotion," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "But we brought it for 20 minutes in the third and we found a way to win and that’s the important thing. Now we’ll get ready for Montreal Thursday. Not too difficult to get up for those games."

SHAWN THORNTON SHOOTING 100%ON CAREER PENALTY SHOTS

Though the second period wasn't anything to write home about, there were some shining moments that got fans and the team moving. One such moment was when Thornton was given the go ahead for a penalty shot--his first ever as a professional.

"I was real nervous, not going to lie to you," Thornton confessed to the media after the game. "Anytime you’re out there in front of that many people and it’s just you – I mean I guess I do all the time when I fight, but I’m a little bit nervous with my hands scoring goals than I am the other stuff.

"I haven’t taken a penalty shot in front of people since the Max Milk Midget Tournament. I won that shootout competition by the way – I have the belt buckle to prove it."

But he dangled with the best of them in front of Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and roofed one over his right shoulder for a shorthanded penalty shot goal--a move that he said used to fool Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, but no longer holds the same surprise factor.

And while it worked the first time, Thornton said don't expect to see him standing there during a shootout.

"I’m pretty sure Tuukka will still be ahead of me."

NATHAN HORTON BACK TO OLD FORM

After starting the season off slow and admitting he wasn't at a peak mental level after last year's concussion sidelined him for a while, Horton has come back to earn numbers that seem more fit for the 26-year-old first liner.

After tonight's two-goal effort, Horton has five goals in just four games, and fourteen total goals this season. It took him fifteen games at the start of the season to net his first five goals.

What's arguably become his signature goal, both of Horton's goals have come from just outside the crease and in mid-crash through the slot. He thrives on the back door tap in and does it so effectively for the Bruins.

"I'm just trying to get pucks to the net and go to the net, and get it to open people," Horton said about his strategy. "I’m just trying to give David [Krejci] and Looch [Milan Lucic] the puck as much as I can and just go to the net, and good things happen."

POULIOT STEPPING IN BIG FOR MARCHAND

With Brad Marchand suspended for four more games, everyone on the team is looking to step up for his absence. Perhaps most notably however has been Benoit Pouliot. Though it's only his second game stepping in for Marchand on the second line (who was out later last week with flu-like symptoms), Pouliot has four points (1 goal, 3 assists).

His goal came in tonight's game, giving the Bruins the fifth goal 6:41 into the third period. But he didn't make it easy on himself.

"Well first it went off my stick and then my skate and then off the post," Pouliot said, describing his goal. "Then I’m like, 'oh boy, I’ve got to get that puck back and in the open net.' It worked out."

The former Canadien has been making a name for himself as of late and becoming one of the reliable players on the bench after his season started off in the press box as a healthy scratch.

NEXT UP:

The Bruins have one day of rest before hosting the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Though the team currently sits last in the division, they have also been the cause for two early Bruins losses in October.




For more Boston Bruins coverage, visit our team page and blog, Stanley Cup Of Chowder.

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