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Save of the Night – Tim Thomas (December 18)

Dec 19, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

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Even with the Washington Capitals in an 0-6-2 slump in their last eight games, it’s still a pretty impressive feat to take a season series from the Stanley Cup contender.

Yet that’s what Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins did tonight, as the current odds-on Vezina Trophy winner made 39 out of 41 saves to help Boston beat Washington. In case you weren’t aware, this loss promoted a domino effect that allowed the Atlanta Thrashers to take the top spot in the Southeast Division while the Tampa Bay Lightning also acquired a flimsy lead over the Capitals for second place.

There were probably some other great saves tonight, but context matters in a lot of these situations. There were less than 20 seconds left in the game and the Capitals had an open net with the ideal situation in front of them: Alex Ovechkin found some open space to try to tie up the game during that tumultuous third period.

Yet the one thing that made the situation less than ideal was clear: Thomas was the goalie Ovechkin needed to beat. Thomas held strong like he did for most of a rather one-sided game, as Boston earned their third win in four tries against Washington tonight.

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