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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Tuukka time Claude, just go with it

Tim Thomas is a good NHL goaltender. He had a career year last season and was rewarded with a new contract and the Vezina trophy. All of that is irrelevant in the here and now because he is struggling and backup goalie Tuukka Rask is really starting to come into his own at the NHL level.

Thomas (7-8-4, 2.48 GAA) lost his third straight start last night as the Flyers won a Winter Classic preview 3-1 at the TD Garden.

It seems like every game Thomas is good for at least one soft goal. Last night didn't have any complete stinkers but Kimmo Timonen's game-winner is probably one that Thomas would like back.

Boston (16-10-6) led 1-0 on Vladimir Sobotka's tip in on Shawn Thornton's shot in the second period. Steve Begin also assisted on what turned out to be the Bruins' only goal of the game.

The Flyers (15-15-1) have been playing terrible so they desperately needed this game to gain some momentum. Rookie James van Riemsdyk (a UNH product) tied it early in the third with a redirection. Arron Asham and Timonen assisted.

Timonen's goal which put Philadelphia up 2-1 was a long shot from the point that was deflected off Blake Wheeler's glove and past a screened Thomas (35 saves). Jon Kalinski and Matt Carle assisted.

The B's had a chance as they received a power-play with 1:03 left. They pulled Thomas to make it a 6-on-4 advantage but they couldn't put one past Flyers goalie Brian Boucher (26 saves).

Timonen clinched it with an empty-netter that went the length of the ice.

Boston has today off and then practices the next few days before going to Chicago to play the high-flying Blackhawks (maybe the best team in the Western Conference) Friday night.

Rask (9-2-2, 1.97 GAA) deserves the next start.

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