BOSTON – Anton Khudobin didn’t know whether or not the Bruins were going to pick up another veteran goalie ahead of the trade deadline, but he hoped they wouldn't because he’s rebuilt some of their confidence in him. The Russian goaltender won his third straight game while stopping 15-of-17 shots in a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden on Saturday night, and has his confidence meter sitting at an all-time high this season.
“If they believe in me and they didn’t bring anybody, I really appreciate it,” said Khudobin, who improved to 4-5-1 on the season after Saturday night’s win. “I want to do my job and I want to win for the team. If they did that, I really appreciate it and believe it’s always most important. If they believe in you as a player, it gives you confidence, and that’s it.
“It’s always a good feeling to win the games. I’m always saying that and my answer is not going to change, probably. Of course, and after a rough start, especially my start, and winning right now, it just gives you more confidence, it gives your team more confidence, and gives everybody confidence which is important at this time of the year.”
Khudobin wasn’t consistently under siege, obviously, as the Bruins outshot the Devils by a 40-17 margin, but he was good enough to win. That’s the name of the game for the backup goalie that simply needs to stop enough rubber to let his team win while also giving Tuukka Rask the entire night off as he did on Saturday night.
“His game was good. I’m sure he’d rather have the game that he had than the one that [Cory] Schneider had because we tested him quite a bit. So at the end of the day, they were high-end chances that they scored on,” said Cassidy. “So you know, that’s fantastic clean up on some of those opportunities but for the most part we kept it clean in front of him.
“He did his job, you know, he hung in there, he made saves when he had to and he got the win for it, so I’m sure he’s happy. It was a tough first half of the year for him, and he’s kind of found his game here a little bit and we’ve talked about it – it’s well documented. We need him, we need him to be good and give us a chance to win.”
That’s exactly what Khudobin did in winning on Saturday night, and it’s no coincidence that the Bruins are on their best winning stretch of the season while their B’s backup goalie is regularly picking up W’s for the first time this season.