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Thomas powering surge by Bruins

Buffalo (8-2-3) at Boston (7-3-3) 7:00 p.m. EST

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Tim Thomas is the biggest reason the Boston

Bruins are threatening the top spot in the Northeast Division.

The goaltender will likely be in net on Saturday when the Bruins

host the first-place Buffalo Sabres.

Thomas leads the NHL with a .944 save percentage and owns a 1.85

goals-against average - the second-best mark in the league. The

34-year-old is 4-1-0 in his last five starts to help Boston move

two points behind the Sabres in the Northeast.

The Bruins have won five of their last six games overall with

Thomas posting consecutive road shutouts against the Edmonton

Oilers and Vancouver Canucks during that stretch.

Thomas, who was inexplicably left off the league's All-Star

ballot, will have to be at his best against the Sabres.

Buffalo is 4-0-2 on the road this season, joining the Montreal

Canadiens as the only teams yet to lose in regulation away from

home.

However, Buffalo is coming off a 5-4 overtime setback to the

Atlanta Thrashers on Friday.

After posting back-to-back shutouts, Sabres goaltender Ryan

Miller had his scoreless streak snapped at 149 minutes, 11

seconds when Thrashers center Jason Williams netted the first of

two tallies on the night early in the first period.

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