Talking Points: Rask solid in bounce-back game
Tuukka Rask stopped 24-of-25 shots and played with the kind of energetic, battling mentality that the Bruins are absolutely looking for from their goaltender. He was fighting through traffic and tracking pucks, and benefitted from a Bruins group blocking shots and committed to shutting things down in front of him. His biggest stop was probably a second period Viktor Arvidsson chance all alone in front after a David Backes turnover off the half-wall, but there were plenty of deflections and bouncing pucks with a wall of bodies in front of him as well. Only a tipped Roman Josi shot by Craig Smith slipped through his pads, and he was rock-solid the rest of the night. Give Rask credit for bouncing back in a big way for the Black and Gold in a spot where he needed to show a response.
A fairly rough night for P.K. Subban, who heard boos from the Bruins faithful every time he touched the puck on Tuesday night and kind of had a forgettable game against his old arch-rivals. Subban finished a dreadful minus-3 for the game and had just a couple of shots on net while not engaging in most of the agitating antics that were part of B’s routine as a member of the Canadiens. Perhaps his energy level was a little compromised while playing in the second night of back-to-backs, but it felt like far too much of an uneventful night with Subban playing in Boston for the first time since the big summer trade.
The Bruins hadn’t been able to get out to their customary strong starts during the recent losing streak, but that changed on Tuesday night when they jumped out to a quick lead against the Predators. Patrice Bergeron scored just a couple of minutes into the game, David Krejci added one in the middle of the period and the B’s were off and running. In all they outshot Nashville by a 13-6 margin in the opening period and forced Nashville to play catch-up hockey for the remainder of the game. And we all know that catch-up hockey is losing hockey, right folks? The quick start was a sure sign that Bruce Cassidy’s bunch was back to business as usual.
Got to give it to Noel Acciari, who scored his first NHL goal in his 43rd career game with the Bruins. It was a beautiful 3-on-1 rush by the Bruins fourth liners with Riley Nash feeding Acciari for the tap-in goal against Pekka Rinne that gave Boston the insurance strike that they were looking for. Acciari also led the Bruins with eight registered hits and was playing the heavy, physical game throughout his 13:07 of ice time. He’s been very good focused on playing with energy and a little snarl since coming back up to the NHL, and he’s brought with him a very gritty dimension when he’s skated with Dominic Moore and Nash as Boston’s energy line.
BY THE NUMBERS
5 – the number of blocked shots for Adam McQuaid, who paid the price to win and then some among Boston’s 24 blocked shots in the victory.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“I’d lost four games [in a row] but played a couple good games there, and we just didn’t get the bounces. But we kind of got in winning habits there in Long Island and me stepping in there, I just wanted to make sure that I gave us a chance to win. The guys did the rest. So it was a great team effort today, I think.” – Tuukka Rask, securing his 34th win of the season while making 24 saves in victory.