Slava Kozlov (Dynamo) and Nikita Pivtsakin (Avangard) go at each other during regular season Avangard – Dynamo game (Photo credit: OldWest.su)

The History

These two teams have met 66 times. Dynamo has won 35 of those match-ups, Avangard 23, with eight tie games. The teams have squared off in the playoffs five times– with Dynamo winning in 1995, 2005 and 2008, and Avangard winning in 2003 and 2004. But they have never played each other in the finals. Until now.

The most famous series between the two was the 2004-05 semifinals. After getting eliminated by the Omsk Hawks two straight times, Dynamo (featuring Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin and Andrei Markov) tried to stop Avangard (with Jaromir Jagr, Oleg Tverdovsky and one of the greatest lines in modern Russian hockey history: Maxim Sushinsky, Dmitry Zatonsky and Alexander Prokopiev).

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How to Solve Tim Thomas in the Playoffs

Last season, the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup with grit, a stiffing defense, and a big weirdo in net by the name of Tim Thomas. Thomas had an incredible 1.98 GAA, .940 Save Percentage, and 4 shutouts in last year’s playoffs. In the Finals, Thomas went into beast mode, giving up only 8 goals in 7 games, giving Boston its first Stanley Cup since 1971-72. Naturally, he was the Playoffs MVP.

Well the Bruins are back to defend their title and are trying to become the first team since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings to win the Cup in back-to-back years. Standing in their way however, will be our 7th-seeded Caps, a rag-tag group of veterans, AHL’ers, and Russians that I’m pretty sure Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury still think are Eurotrash.

Unless he suffers a gruesome injury or chooses to skip out on a game because of an Obama appearance, the Capitals will have to find a way to consistently score on this Tea Partier from Flint, Michigan. And that, for them hasn’t been easy.

Timmay is a career 14-5-3 against Washington, which includes a save percentage north of .920. He’s consistently beaten the Caps in their own barn, winning 7 of 9 career games against them. While Thomas went 1-1-1 against the Capitals this year in 3 starts, he also stopped 82 of 89 Washington shots. He was nearly impenetrable, no matter how much we only want to remember his — um — poor performance in the March 29th shootout.

So on those 7 goals, how have the Caps beaten Thomas? Is there a particular place on the ice that the Caps have had more success shooting?

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