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At the Rink blog

Nights off for Thomas, Khabibulin

Thursday, 11.10.2011 / 1:22 PM

By Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Nights off for Thomas, Khabibulin
BOSTON -- Those hoping for a goaltending matchup of last season's Vezina Trophy winner and this season's early front-runner for the award will be disappointed when the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers hit the ice tonight at TD Garden.

Neither Boston's Tim Thomas, who won his second Vezina in three seasons back in June, nor Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin, who leads the NHL with an 0.98 goals-against average and sits second with a .964 save percentage, is scheduled to get the nod for his respective team.

Instead, there will be a showdown of two of the better young goaltenders in the League.

Tuukka Rask was first off the ice for the Bruins after their morning skate, as was Devan Dubnyk for the Oilers. Edmonton coach Tom Renney later confirmed Dubnyk's starting role.

"Well, it's not difficult to be honest with you," Renney said about the decision. "We have to play back-to-back here, and it's one of those situations where 'Dube' has to play too. This is a big, strong team. I think this is tailor-made, quite honestly, for Devan to see this team and see their attack. His size and strength, it sort of lines up well for those circumstances. But this is the part of the schedule that we looked at in September and suggested to ourselves that at least we would have to make sure that they at least split."

Rask has not started consecutive games this season. He comes into the Oilers game fresh off his first win and carries a 2.00 GAA and .931 save percentage. Despite a 2-3-0 record, Dubnyk has been solid with a .930 save percentage and 2.19 GAA.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres