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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Timmy Thomas (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap)

If you had told me this summer that Tim Thomas would be the NHL's best goalie for the first month of the season and Tuukka Rask would be sitting on the bench full-time, I would say you must be Thomas' wife or child to be so brainwashed.

Yet here we are. Thomas (10-1-0) has all of the wins so far for Boston this season and he completely stole one last night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.

The Bs (10-5-1) got up 3-1 but almost coughed it up as New York (10-8-1) blitzed them with 15 shots in the third period before falling short in a 3-2 loss.

For the game, the Rangers outshot the Bruins 36-20. The only reason Boston got two points from this one was Thomas, a lucky goal by Mark Recchi and a moment of brilliance from Tyler Seguin.

After a scoreless first period before a dead crowd, the game got interesting in the second period as Brandon Dubinsky gave New York a 1-0 lead at 7:10 with a power play goal from Ryan Callahan and Henrik Lundqvist (17 saves).

Less than four minutes later, Milan Lucic tied it up after a fine pass from linemate Nathan Horton. At 16:35, Seguin showed why he was the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft and why the 18-year-old will spend the whole season in Boston.

He stole the puck at his own blue line, whooshed into the zone and ripped a wrist shot top shelf. It was an unassisted thing of beauty.

Recchi scored 1:10 into the third period as his weak wrist shot somehow snuck past Lundqvist, who was positioned properly by the near post. Mark Stuart and Dennis Seidenberg assisted on what turned out to be the game-winner.

Marian Gaborik, who had a ton of chances all game, finally cashed one in at 5:26. Derek Stepan assisted Gaborik who was right in front of Thomas when he shot it.

This set up a frantic finish where the Rangers had a million more shots and the Bruins were on the ropes the whole time but ultimately hung on.

Boston comes home tonight to face old whipping boy Dennis Wideman and the crappy Florida Panthers. This is the Bruins' third game in four days so they'll have to dig deep to get two points at the TD Garden.

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