Vezina candidates Pekka Rinne & Tim Thomas to face off tonight

It is a rare occasion when Pekka Rinne is in the same building with a goalie that is his equal. As luck would have it for the playoff-pushing Predators, the Boston Bruins are in town.

Rinne and Tim Thomas are two of the best in the NHL this season, virtual locks to be finalists for the Vezina Trophy that annually goes to the league’s most outstanding goaltender.

Should both start today’s game at Bridgestone Arena, fans might want to settle in for a low-scoring affair.

“They’re both very competitive,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said. “I think it starts right there. They have a goaltenders’ attitude in that they compete for every puck. They’re never out of a save. They’re both athletic. But I think it’s the mental makeup. I don’t think we would be where we are without Peks.”

Thomas leads the NHL in goals-against average (2.03) and save percentage (.938), while Rinne is second in both categories (2.09 and .929).

Rinne has been following Thomas’ performances from afar and has been impressed. Every time he sneaks a peek at the statistical leaders, Thomas has been right there at the top.

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