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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In case you've been living in an igloo, Tim Thomas is doing ridiculous things this season

The NHL should schedule more back-to-back, home and home series' between teams to spice up the regular seasons which admittedly can get dull at times.

After waxing the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday in an MLK matinee, the Boston Bruins went to the RBC Center last night in Raliegh, North Carolina and came away with an impressive two points thanks to a 3-2 win.

It was no surprise that the Hurricanes (22-18-6) came out looking like a different team, but even more predictable than that was the fact that Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas (43 saves) stole the show for what feels like about the 30th time already this season.

Carolina outshot Boston (26-13-7) 45-28 but thanks to the soon-to-be two-time Vezina trophy winner and some timely scoring (from Brad Marchand and the game-winner from Milan Lucic), the Bs came home still in second place in the Eastern Conference and first in the Northeast Division.

After Mark Stuart got his first goal of the season on Monday, his fellow backliner wanted a taste too so Johnny Boychuk scored 2:04 into last night's contest on a power play. Michael Ryder and Marc Savard assisted on the patented bullet from the blue line ("Johnny Rocket"-as crazy Jack Edwards rightly dubbed it). They changed the goal to Savard in the second period but then they changed it back to Boychuk, um ok?

Jussi Jokinen tied it up for the Hurricanes at 18:39 in the first period on the power play from Eric Staal (one of the two All-Star captains next weekend) and Joe Corvo.

Carolina goaltender Cam Ward (25 saves) could have taken a nap or gone to get a drink in the second period as the Hurricanes buzzed with a 19-9 shot advantage. When Thomas blanked them for those 20 minutes, you had a feeling that he might steal this one for the Black and Gold.

Marchand put Boston up 2-1 (his 10th of the season) at 3:55 in the third period after some great hustle to track down the rebound from Zdeno Chara's shot. Mark Recchi also had an assist by winning the face-off and knocking it back to Chara.

Chad LaRose tied it up at 9:19 from Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner. Carolina had a bunch of chances in that sequence and LaRose was in the right spot to sweep it in.

Two and a half minutes later, Recchi and Lucic teamed up for the game-winner. Recchi drove behind the net (making the Hurricanes defense think he would try a wraparound) before he passed it out front to Lucic who buried his 17th of the season-tying his career-high from two seasons ago. Steven Kampfer also assisted on Boston's second power-play goal of the night.

The Bs come home to host the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night.

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