Byron Bitz tipped in a shot to start Boston's three-goal first period and the Bruins warmed up for the outdoor Winter Classic with a 4-0 victory over the visiting Atlanta Thrashers last night.
The Bruins won for the fourth time in five games heading into the annual New Year's Day game tomorrow when they will play the Flyers at Fenway Park.
But first they took care of the Thrashers for the second time in 8 days, handing them their sixth straight loss. They drove goalie Ondrej Pavelec from the game in the first period both times.
Pavelec was lifted 10:52 into the first game after allowing three goals in a 1:08 span in Boston's 6-4 win. Last night, he lasted 16:50 and left after Steve Begin's goal made it 3-0 on the Bruins' 10th shot.
Johan Hedberg took over both times and played very well last night when he stopped 12 shots before Patrice Bergeron scored his 11th goal of the season at 14:56 of the second period, making it 4-0. Bergeron, the Bruins' leading scorer with 30 points, was selected to the Canadian Olympic hockey team yesterday.
In other games:
* At Newark, N.J., Martin Brodeur made 32 saves for his second straight shutout against Pittsburgh and record 105th overall, leading New Jersey to a 2-0 victory. Selected to the Canadian Olympic team, Brodeur broke a tie with Terry Sawchuck for the NHL shutout record. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby was also selected to Canada's Olympic team.
* At Tampa, Fla., Tomas Plekanec scored at 3:32 of overtime to give Montreal a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay.
* At Ottawa, Ryan O'Reilly scored the winning goal in the third period in Colorado's 4-3 victory over the Senators.
* At Edmonton, Patrick O'Sullivan scored two power-play goals to help the Oilers snap a seven-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Toronto.
* At Calgary, Craig Conroy broke a second-period tie with his first goal of the season in the Flames' 2-1 win over Los Angeles.
* At San Jose, The Sharks became the first team in more than 27 years to score on two penalty shots en route to a 5-2 win over Washington. Joe Thornton and Ryane Clowe scored on the penalty shots. The last team to do so was Vancouver on Feb. 11, 1982, at Detroit.
* Former NHL superstar Jaromir Jagr was included on the Czech Republic's Olympic squad. The 37-year-old right winger is joined by forwards Patrik Elias of New Jersey and Tomas Plekanec of Montreal on the 23-man team.