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Bruins G Thomas mum on returning to Washington

Associated Press Modified: April 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm •  Published: April 9, 2012

WILMINGTON, Mass. (AP) — Tim Thomas has gotten some rest.

And if last season's playoffs are any indication, he's going to need it.

"I don't think he's a tired goaltender," Bruins coach Claude Julien said as the defending Stanley Cup champions wrapped up the regular season and prepared for what they hope will be another long playoff run. "I've seen Tim tired before, and I see the signs, but he's certainly not tired. ... We've got a few days here to work on our game and get ourselves sharpened up, and that includes him."

The Bruins begin the playoffs against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, and Thomas is certain to be in net for the opener. Last year, Thomas played every minute of the team's run to its first NHL championship since 1972, earning him the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP to go with the Vezina he snared as the best goaltender in the regular season.

Three of the Bruins' four playoff series went seven games, and four games went into overtime. In all, Thomas played an extra 1,541 minutes, 43 seconds in the postseason last year before coming into a season where the Bruins again leaned on him heavily after backup Tuukka Rask was injured at the beginning of March.

Still, Thomas finished with playing-time statistics this season similar to last season's. He played in 59 games, two more than last year, but started 55 in both seasons and played two fewer minutes this year than last year.

And when the playoffs start on Thursday, it will be Thomas' second game in 11 days; last year, he had played three games after April 1 as the Bruins headed into the postseason. Thomas skipped a trip to Ottawa on April 5 after it was clear that the Bruins were locked into the No. 2 seed in the East.

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