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Bruins legend Tim Thomas gets TD Garden crowd fired up ahead of Game 6 vs. Panthers

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BOSTON -- The Bruins brought in a legend to get fans at TD Garden on their feet just before the puck dropped for Friday night's must-win Game 6 against the Florida Panthers. Former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who stood on his head and helped the team win its last Stanley Cup title, was Boston's honorary fan banner captain on Friday night. 

Fans were already fired up after Brad Marchand took the ice for warmups, signaling the captain's return after a two-game absence with an upper-body injury. But that was just a warmup for Thomas' ovation.

As soon as Thomas' named popped up on the big screen, the crowd at the Garden let out a huge roar for the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

This marks the second time that Thomas got some time in front of Bruins fans this season. He was also part of the franchise's "Return of a Champion Era Night" ceremony before a game in March. Fans that evening also gave the former netminder a giant ovation, because Bruins fans absolutely love Tim Thomas.

And rightfully so. Thomas spent eight of his nine NHL seasons in net for the Bruins, winning a pair of Vezina Trophies to go with his Stanley Cup title in 2011. He was otherworldly during that Stanley Cup run for Boston with a .940 save percentage and 1.98 goals against average, logging four shutouts along the way. He capped it all off with a 37-save shutout of the Canucks on their home ice in Vancouver to give the Bruins the franchise's first title since 1972.

Interestingly enough, Thomas spent part of his last NHL season with Florida, playing 40 games for the Panthers during the 2013-14 season. But it was pretty clear Friday night where his heart remains.

The Bruins trail their series against the Panthers 3-2 heading into Friday night's game. A win would force a deciding Game 7 on Sunday back in Florida. 

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