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Chara’s first hat trick, Thomas’ 7th shutout help Boston stuff Carolina 7-0

Jan 17, 2011, 5:39 PM EDT

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Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard

Today’s match-up between Boston and Carolina shaped up to be a great one with Tim Thomas facing off with Cam Ward. Just 11:28 into the first period, Cam Ward was exiting the game after giving up two quick goals to Mark Stuart and Zdeno Chara and the rout was on as the Bruins took out Carolina 7-0. The goal for Chara would be his first of three on his way to a hat trick, the first in his career. Patrice Bergeron added a goal and an assist as the Bruins spread out the scoring aside from Chara.

Tim Thomas, meanwhile, cruised to a 31-save shutout, his seventh shutout of the year to earn his 21st victory of the season. Yes, one-third of his wins this year have come via shutout. A truly astounding statistic for the 36 year-old goalie. His 1.88 goals against average and .944 save percentage this year put him light years ahead of the competition this season.

For Boston it’s their fourth win in five games and gets them back on track after faltering against Pittsburgh on Saturday. Carolina will have to regroup fast as they’ll face the Bruins tomorrow night in Raleigh on the back end of this home-and-home series. Cam Ward getting pulled so early in this game was likely done both due to ineffectiveness but also to preserve his energy for tomorrow’s game. Justin Peters did not fare well replacing Ward, allowing five goals and collecting two minor penalties as well, one for holding the other for roughing.

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