It will be a battle of the two best statistical goaltenders in the league when the Bruins and Tim Thomas host the Thrashers and Ondrej Pavelec Thursday.
Thomas leads the NHL in save percentage (.948) and goals-against average (1.70). Pavelec is second in save percentage (.943) and goals-against average (1.82).
“The challenge for me is to beat the Boston Bruins, not Tim Thomas,” Pavelec said. “I don’t look at who is in the other net. It’s a big game for us. We need the two points.”
The Thrashers did not face Thomas in Atlanta on Nov. 28 in a 4-1 win. They scored three first-period goals against Tuukka Rask en route to the victory.
“They have two top-notch goaltenders over there,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “I’ve seen them both play brilliantly. Certainly we’ve seen our guy, Pavs, steal us some games and steal us periods when you need it, make that big save at the right time. It’s going to be interesting tonight. Whoever they put in there tonight, you are going to have two of the best goalies in the business.”
In other news:
* Ramsay returned to Boston, where he spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach.
“There is always a little extra pressure when you know so many people and you want to play your best and show everybody what your team has,” he said.
* Marc Savard will be in the lineup for the Bruins. The former Thrasher missed the earlier meeting between the teams has he was recovering from a concussion sustained last season. He has appeared in nine games since his return with one goal and two assists.
“Savy is a guy who makes other people around him better,” Ramsay said. “Because he’s so highly skilled people like to play with him. If you are playing with Savy and you can get open, he’ll find a way to get you the puck and now you have that chance to shoot. He’s a fun guy to watch. When he’s on his game, there are not many guys that ever passed the puck as well as him.”
* The rest of the Thrashers lineup remained the same, other than the two changes documented in the previous blog.
The line combinations: