Sturm scores twice as Bruins pummel Stars

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By Tony Lee

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The formula has been simple of late for the

Boston Bruins - spot Tim Thomas a lead and fight your way to the

finish.

Thomas made 35 saves and Marco Sturm scored two goals as the

Bruins won a fight-filled affair over the Dallas Stars, 5-1, on

Saturday.

Patrice Bergeron, Phil Kessel and defenseman Mark Stuart also

tallied for the Bruins, who posted their biggest margin of

victory this season in winning for the fourth time in five

games.

This contest saw a total of 36 penalties and multiple brawls

over the course of the final 40 minutes, much of it brought on

by Stars agitators Sean Avery and Steve Ott.

While admitting it was tough to keep his emotions in check,

Thomas liked the way his team responded.

"We're not going to let anybody push us around and play dirty

with us, and I think we did a good job of sticking up for

ourselves and showing what kind of character we have," Thomas

said. "I don't know what their scouting report is on us, but I

think they picked the wrong team to try to do that to."

Avery and Ott drew the ire of the Bruins all night. Avery's hit

from behind on Milan Lucic got it going early in the second, as

the two dropped their gloves 5:22 into the period.

Lucic, for his part, would not comment on the legality of the

hit. He did, however, stress the importance of his team's

ability to stand up to the Stars.

"Sometimes you have to get dirty and do things like that," Lucic

said of the fighting. "I think it was a character game and a

character win for us."

Lucic claimed it felt like a junior hockey game, while Thomas

was unable to recall a contest like that since his days in the

American Hockey League.

Avery was not offering comment after the game. He himself

served five penalties for a total of 17 minutes.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen and Krys Barch also threw punches for

the Stars, while Shawn Thornton, Marc Savard and defensemen

Shane Hnidy and Andrew Ference were among those that fought for

the Bruins.

Dallas coach Dave Tippett said his team will undergo plenty of

"evaluation" with a handful of days off. He was not pleased

with the effort.

"It's a group effort. You win as a team and you lose as a

team," he said. "We're giving away too many opportunities, and

we have to look at our lineup and evaluate it right through."

A tight game turned quickly when Kessel scored to make it 3-1

moments before Ference delivered a crushing hit on Ott early in

the third period. Ference then fought Avery seconds later in

what Thomas said was a pivotal moment in the game.

Thomas himself had a hard time focusing after the hit raised the

intensity.

"Those are some of the hardest games to play because you start

getting your adrenaline going," he said. "As a goalie, you try

to stay even-keeled. But after (Ference) made that hit and

stood up for himself, I got a little excited."

Through it all, Thomas never blinked, continuing a solid stretch

for the University of Vermont product. He recorded consecutive

1-0 victories on Boston's recent three-game road trip and held

opponents scoreless for more than 158 minutes over a three-game

stretch before a 3-2 loss in Calgary on Thursday.

Thomas allowed only a soft goal less than eight minutes in on a

wrist shot by Avery. He turned aside 21 shots in the second

period alone as Boston committed eight penalties and had to

extinguish a series of power plays for Dallas.

"That was huge, we got ourselves in penalty trouble there,"

Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I thought they did a great

job of surviving the penalties."

The Stars outshot the Bruins in the second period, 21-5.

Bergeron scored on one of those five shots to snap a 1-1 tie.

Amid 4-on-4 action, Michael Ryder took a shot that Marty Turco

knocked away. The puck bounced around before trickling to the

goaltender's right, where Bergeron pounced on it to record his

third goal of the season.

Bergeron has scored in consecutive outings for the first time

since the opening two games last campaign, not long before a

serious concussion ended his season.

Sturm scored on the Bruins' first shot of the game, firing a

one-timer past Turco off a feed from rookie Blake Wheeler for

his second goal of the campaign. Kessel netted his seventh

tally early in the third for a 3-1 bulge and Stuart notched his

first with 8:55 left to open it up.

Sturm capped the scoring with 5:43 to go, posting his first

two-goal effort since February 28.

Turco finished with 20 saves for Dallas, which was 0-for-6 on

the power play.

Afterward, he was among the many Stars lamenting a woeful

effort.

"I don't know where to start," said Turco, who has given up 11

goals in his last two games. "We need something. From my

perspective, from what I do, it seems all the time like we've

got guys trying to be goalies, trying to go out for pucks.

"It's getting old and it's disheartening. ... It's sad. It's

embarrassing. Those are the type of games that show a lot.

There's no sugar-coating anything any more."

Dallas has lost six of nine overall.

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