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Behind The Boards: Panthers Ready For Drama On The Ice

SUNRISE (CBSMiami) - You couldn't script it any better, it's as if Hollywood drew it up.

Over a 27-month period, a professional athlete is the best in the world at his position and is the MVP as a tradition-rich team wins its first championship in nearly 40 years and then he calls it quits for a year. The player then returns with another team, only to face his former team early in the season. Did I mention, in the midst of all that, the former team reached game 7 of the championship with the former players' understudy being the star?

The whole scenario is precisely what's gone down with Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins , Florida Panthers and Tuuka Rask. It all comes to a head tonight when 39-year-old Tim Thomas faces his former teammates at the BB&T Center.

If you like sports drama, and underlying stories, you'll love this game tonight. Thomas will be highly motivated to beat Boston. He won the Vezina trophy in 2009 and 2011 and the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup in '11 as well. After taking a year off, he is a Panther and the hope is Thomas is as good as he was in his final Bruins season.

Thomas won 35 games and had a solid 920 save percentage in 2011-12. Add in the Panthers badly needing a win tonight, and the stage is set for a great night.

We start the coverage at 7 p.m. on FoxSportsFlorida, 7:30 is face-off. And Brad Boyes will be mic'd up for tonight's game. Always like hearing the "inside words" from players during games. Also, tickets are still available for the game.

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