Tim Thomas had not engaged in a fight since he was playing junior hockey, and he had never fought another goalie.

But at the 12:36 mark of the second period in last night's 8-6 win at the Garden against the Montreal Canadiens — and at the age of 36 — the Bruins goalie decided it was time to change that.

The B's were engaging in a pitched battle against the Canadiens in the Montreal zone and, when Canadiens counterpart Carey Price got a little too involved, Thomas charged down the ice. After a short standoff, the two locked up before Price got a hold of Thomas' arm and took him to the ice with neither goalie landing a blow.

"I went off the blue line and he backed into his crease. And then so I'm like OK, and then he went in again and you just can't let it be an outnumbered situation, and so that's what I was thinking when I went down there," Thomas said. "He was more than willing to fight. And I had this big old, plan. I was going to grab his right (arm) and I was going to throw lefts because I know he's bigger and taller and has a reach on me. And I thought I could do a better job throwing lefts on him and when I went to grab him he got a good hold on my right arm and I got nothing.

"So then I was like, 'Uh-oh, now what do I do?' Because I know he's got a big right cocked and ready to come."

Thomas was thankful that Price didn't unload. The two goalies got to know each other at a summer camp a couple of years ago and are on friendly terms.