PHILADELPHIA – Saturday afternoon was another positive step for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in reestablishing himself as an elite goalie.
There were no spectacular saves and both Rask the Bruins were on the right side of a successful goalie interference challenge at the end of the second period, but credit where it’s due to the Bruins No. 1 goalie for stopping 28 shots in a 3-0 win for the B’s over the Flyers. It was Rask’s first shutout this season and the first time all season that the Bruins netminder has won consecutive starts.
As Bruce Cassidy said after the game was over, it was as “comfortable” as Rask has looked this season and that’s something that bodes well moving forward.
“Tuukka looked as comfortable as I’ve seen him all year. He was efficient in the net,” said Bruce Cassidy of Rask, who improved to a .906 save percentage (tied for 25th in the NHL with Matt Murray) and a 2.65 goals against average (tied for 11th in the NHL with Braden Holtby and Roberto Luongo) on the season. “I sound like a broken record, but we need both goalies playing well and especially your No. 1 [needs that.] For him to find his game, feel good about it and get wins, I’m sure he’s feeling really good about his game. He should be. I thought he looked comfortable and square. It didn’t look like they were going to get anything by him, at least that’s what I saw.”
Perhaps just as important as Rask looking confident on his angles and aggressive challenging shooters, the Bruins team also played tight, strong and supportive defense in front of him. For one of the few times all season, everything really came together for both the B’s and Rask while working together on the ice.
“I felt solid, but I thought we just had a really good game. The second period they had a couple of rushes because we didn’t reload, but the PK did a terrific job the whole night. It was a team effort again,” said Rask. “There were a couple of odd-man rushes in the second, but other than that we cleared the net front very well, and I pretty much saw every puck.
“I’ve said that you just have to believe the bounces are going to start going your way. Today we got one call with the goalie interference, and I thought there was no question about it. Those are the little things that make a big difference in the results.”
Now the Bruins will look to keep things rolling with Anton Khudobin on Monday night in Nashville against the Predators, where he’ll be looking to extend to a personal five-game winning streak that would really start putting Boston’s puck-stopping tandem in a rarified spot.