Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - To say that the San Francisco 49ers need help at the wide receiver position would be like casually mentioning that Michael Jackson sold a few records. In two playoff games last season for the NFC West champion Niners, quarterback Alex Smith completed 23 of his 36 passes to either running back Frank Gore or tight end Vernon Davis. Only eight of them went to a wide receiver, led by Michael Crabtrees five. In fact, during San Franciscos 20-17 setback to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game, Smith completed just one pass to a wide receiver, a 3- yard reception by Crabtree. So it went without saying that the 49ers, coming off a 13-3 season, were going to be active in upgrading the group in free agency. What was surprising is that San Francisco got a head start with the position enhancement by signing enigma Randy Moss to a one-year deal Monday night. Moss returns to the NFL after sitting out all of last season following a disappointing 13th season in 2010 in which he played for three teams and made just 28 catches. Hopefully Moss tenure with the 49ers goes better than his last trip to the Bay. After making a name for himself with the Minnesota Vikings, Moss was traded to the Raiders before the 2005 season and spent two campaigns in Oakland that translated into a 6-26 record. Moss essentially played his way out of town, hauling in just 42 passes with three touchdowns in 06 before getting traded to the New England Patriots. He went on to form a dangerous tandem with quarterback Tom Brady as the duo broke a number of records together. Needless to say, the Bay Area wont be littered with Black and Silver No. 18 Moss jerseys anytime soon. That wont matter to the 49ers, who made a low-risk move to bring in a hopefully motivated Moss. If they can get even decent production out of Moss, it should translate into another division title. "I had personal reasons outside of football to step away from the game," Moss said in a conference call on Monday night. "I think it was a family decision to get back in the game because I still love the game and still think I can play at a high level and Im passionate about the game of football." The 35-year-old Moss didnt want to get into details about his doomed 2010 season, one that saw him suit up for the Patriots, Vikings and Tennessee Titans, but he sounds like a man ready to make plays on the field once again and said his decision to join the up-and-coming Niners was "really a no- brainer." San Francisco hopes it will agree. "I think I can still play at a high level," Moss said. "So I look forward to learning the offense and getting with the group of guys in the locker room and learning what my role is going to be on this team. Like I said, I accept the challenge, and Im ready to bring the fans out of their seats." Few could blame the 49ers if they were cautious in bringing in a player with Moss reputation. They made a similar move late last offseason by signing wide receiver Braylon Edwards, a player who had numerous off-the-field incidents before coming to town. The union didnt pan out, with Edwards battling injury and logging just 15 receptions over nine games before his release on Dec. 27. Moss, who announced on his birthday on Feb. 13 his plan to come out of retirement, will come with baggage as well. He has a reputation for quitting on the field and no matter what kind of numbers he ends up with in his career, the image of him mooning the Packers fans during a playoff game while with the Vikings in the 2005 playoffs will always be linked to his bio. Moss downplayed his reputation Monday night and how he would fit into the blue-collar system run by San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh. "Well, the thing about me being here is theyve done their research on me," Moss said. "And I think when it comes to the world-wide sports media, Ive gotten a bad rap. Theyve done their homework on me or they wouldnt have brought me in here." Moss said he also is looking forward to helping out the 49ers young receivers, a group that includes the 24-year-old Crabtree, 23-year-old Kyle Williams and a pair of 26-year-olds in Ted Ginn Jr. and Josh Morgan who are both free agents. "I like what Im able to give back to football and the NFL," Moss said. "If those guys are willing to accept me as a teammate, come here and make this thing happen, then Im ready to give back anything I have: my knowledge, my work ethic and all of the above. I look forward to going out and working with these young guys, and coaches included." At the very least, the 49ers will hope that Moss can clue Crabtree in on the secret to being a game-changing wide receiver. San Francisco invested heavily in the Texas Tech product when it selected him 10th overall in the 2009 draft and Crabtree showed signs last season of moving forward after grabbing 72 passes for 874 yards. Still, just 12 touchdowns in three seasons is leaving something to be desired. Moss, meanwhile, knows a little something about finding the end zone. He has logged 153 touchdowns in his career, including a staggering NFL-record 23 in 2007 with the Patriots. He has topped 1,300 receiving yards six times and broken the 1,000-yard mark in 10 seasons. That addition of the seven-time Pro Bowl selection also could make San Francisco a desirable location should the Niners choose to pursue another free agent wideout. As for Moss himself, he is just looking forward to putting together a productive season. The rest will work itself out. "Man, I just want to play football. Once the season starts and once it ends, well decide where things are going to go after that," Moss said. 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. Ohio State president Gordon Gee expressed disappointment Thursday in athletic director Gene Smith for not properly monitoring the actions of Robert DiGeronimo, who got several Buckeyes football players into trouble with the NCAA. BOSTON -- Vezina Trophy finalist Tim Thomas stopped every shot and gave the Boston Bruins a chance for the biggest prize of all -- the Stanley Cup. Forget their 20-year absence from the final. Dont talk about their epic playoff collapse of last season. And certainly dont mention their powerless power play. None of that matters after the Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 on Friday night on Nathan Hortons goal with 7:33 left in the penalty-free Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. "Im just happy to see those guys smiling in the dressing room," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "Right now were four wins from winning the Stanley Cup." The Bruins will open the Stanley Cup final Wednesday in Vancouver against the Western Conference champion Canucks. Boston won its most recent championship in 1972 and hadnt reached the final since 1990, when it lost to the Edmonton Oilers. The Bruins left far behind the spectre of last years playoff failure. They blew a 3-0 lead in games and a 3-0 lead in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal, losing 4-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers. "From the beginning of the season, we knew we had some unfinished business," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. "Guys were hungry throughout the playoffs." This season, they squandered 3-2 series leads in the first round against Montreal and then against Tampa Bay. But they beat the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime in Game 7, with Horton scoring the winning goal. Then the forward, playing in the post-season for the first time in his career after five seasons with the Florida Panthers, came through again with his eighth playoff goal. "He certainly has played like a big-game player," Julien said. So has Thomas -- all season. The 37-year-old goalie led the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage after missing all of last years playoffs because of a hip injury. After off-season surgery, he was as good as ever, and that includes the 2008-09 season when he won the Vezina Trophy as the leagues top goalie. "I think a lot of people thought I was over the hill," Thomas said. "I knew it wasnt true. I put in a lot of work over the summer and Ive had an unbelievable year. Ive been blessed." He made 24 saves in his third career playoff shutout and second of the Lightning series. Hortons goal spoiled an outstanding game by Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson, who stopped 37 shots. Thomas playoff performance is even more remarkable because the Bruins scored just five goals on 61 power plays in the post-season. But there were no power plays for either side on Friday night in the clean, hard-hitting game. "There wasnt anything out there to call," Roloson said. "Give the referees credit. for not disrupting the flow of the game." Horton beat Roloson by deflecting a pass from left to right across the slot from David Krejci. "It is hard to explain how good this feeling is," Horton said. His goal set off a loud celebration among Bruins fans, who have waited a long time for a trip to the finals. With three seconds left and the puck in the Lightning zone, Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron raised his stick while standing in the "spoked B" logo symbolizing the Bruins at centre ice. And when the game ended, Thomas raised both arms and arched his back against the net that the Lightning never reached in the decisive game as yellow and black towels given to fans fluttered to the ice. "Its great to be a parrt of something amazing.dddddddddddd That was the highest level of concentration I have experienced," Bergeron said. "I couldnt wait to jump on Timmy and enjoy the moment." The Bruins improved to 2-3 in Game 7s under Julien but have won the last two. Theyre 11-10 overall in Game 7s. Andrew Ference started the only scoring play on the left side behind the red line with a pass to Krejci, also on the left. Horton was on the same side, but when Krejci got the puck, Horton veered to the right. Krejci skated in and threaded a pass to Horton, who put the puck in the open side between Roloson and the left post. "I dont think he could have stopped that puck and I dont think he could have done better than he did tonight," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "Its hard to look at. One little defensive mistake." And the Bruins werent about to squander this lead. "Once they went up 1-0, they really came back (on defence) with five guys and it was tough to get anything," said Vincent Lecavalier, who had six goals and 13 assists in the playoffs. "We got a few shots, but it was tough to get the rebounds." Roloson fell to 7-1 in elimination games during his career, including 4-1 this post-season. Tampa Bay rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat Pittsburgh in the first round, with Roloson shutting out the Penguins 1-0 in Game 7 on the road. But after beating the Bruins in Game 6 to force one more contest, the Lightnings comeback fortunes changed. "They have guys that can put the puck in the net and defend," Boucher said. "Obviously, theyve got it all." Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos was struck in the face by a puck early in the second period and briefly left the game. He was hit on the left side of the head off a hard shot from the right point by Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk and he immediately dropped to the ice. There was some blood on the ice when the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008 got up and skated quickly to his bench, holding his face. He missed about five minutes of game time, then returned with a full cage face shield in place of the visor he had been wearing. Bostons Milan Lucic had the best scoring opportunity in the first when Krejci fed him for a breakaway. But Lucic shot the puck into Roloson with just under five minutes left. The Bruins also had solid chances late in the second. Roloson made a pad save on Mark Recchis shot from a few feet away then made another when Recchi shot the rebound with just under 2 1/2 minutes left in the period. "This is a great moment. (Its) been a long time for Boston. How long has it been actually?" Thomas said, "also a long journey for me to get here. Cant be too happy too long, though, unless you are the last man standing." Notes: Tampa Bays Sean Bergenheim, third in the playoffs with nine goals after scoring just 14 in the regular season, missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury that also kept him out of the last two periods of Game 5. ... The 41-year-old Roloson played in his 50th post-season game. Thomas appeared in his 36th. ... The date of the game, May 27, is the latest the Bruins have played in club history. ... The Lightning have three players remaining from their 2004 championship team -- Martin St. Louis, Lecavalier and Pavel Kubina, who missed the last 10 games with an upper body injury. ... Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling attended the game wearing a Bruins jersey. ' ' '