Bruins' Tuukka Rask jokes about Game 7 loss after TD Garden lights go out
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Bruins' Tuukka Rask jokes about Game 7 loss after TD Garden lights go out

A four-goal lead in the third period is supposed to be safe, right? 

The Bruins found out that wasn't the case Tuesday night, as they suffered an unprecedented collapse against the Panthers, allowing four goals in the third — including the game-tying goal with just 1:39 to play — before losing in a shootout for their fourth straight defeat.

It's only the ninth time in NHL history that a team lost after blowing a four-goal third-period lead at home, and it's the first time the Bruins have ever lost in such a fashion.

While it was a brutal loss, it wasn't as awful as Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, but Tuukka Rask still managed to evoke that memory in jest after the game.

When asked about a second period incident in which the TD Garden lights briefly went out while the Panthers were attacking on the power play, Rask mustered up some humor.

“That should’ve happened in Game 7 of the Final,” Rask said with a laugh. “That’s never happened. First time today, I guess. It was weird.”

While the line was a moment of levity after a heartbreaking defeat, there's nothing funny about how Rask and the Bruins are playing lately. They're mired in their longest losing streak since getting bounced out of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Rask has lost three straight starts with a 3.92 GAA and .868 save percentage.

Their next chance to snap out of it comes Friday night against the Maple Leafs.

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Who are the best goalies in Bruins history? Ranking the Top 10

Who are the best goalies in Bruins history? Ranking the Top 10

As with the Top 10 all-time list of Bruins defensemen, the list of all-time Bruins goalies is rich with elite performers, Hall of Fame players and Stanley Cup winners.

Some like Tim Thomas and Byron Dafoe had all-too-brief stays in Boston while others like Tiny Thompson and Frank Brimsek are known as some of the best to ever play the position.

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Others like Gerry Cheevers were iconic for both their personalities and the Stanley Cup wins on their résumés as well. Interestingly, there is also Tuukka Rask with a growing, impressive list of career numbers and accomplishments with the Black and Gold during his 10-plus years in the Original Six organization.

Here is the all-time Top 10 list of Bruins goalies.

Patrice Bergeron admits 'it's hard' not knowing if Stanley Cup playoffs will happen

Patrice Bergeron admits 'it's hard' not knowing if Stanley Cup playoffs will happen

The Boston Bruins' window to win a Stanley Cup is the near future.

Many of the team's best players are approaching the end of their primes, including Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and others. Brad Marchand also is 31 years old. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (33) and Jaroslav Halak (34) have played a ton of games in their careers. B's captain and defenseman Zdeno Chara remains a very effective player, but he's 43 years old.

The Bruins aren't likely to have a ton more opportunities to win a championship with their veteran core.

Boston currently sits atop the NHL standings and ranks among the top contenders for the Stanley Cup. However, it's uncertain if the Bruins will get a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup in 2020. The NHL a few weeks ago made the smart decision to pause the season amid the outbreak of the coronavirus. It was a necessary move to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. The league on Wednesday announced the postponement of the 2020 NHL Draft, 2020 NHL Scouting Combine and 2020 NHL Awards.

The whole situation is further proof that there are more important things in life than playing sports. Still, it's tough for players in Bergeron's position who might not get too many more cracks at playoff glory. He addressed the scenario in a recent conversation with Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

“I think as you get older you realize that you need to make the most of every opportunity since they might not come by often," Bergeron said. "That being said, this is out of our control. What should be on our minds right now is everyone’s safety. Still, it is hard knowing that we have a great team, not certain if there will be a playoff and a Stanley Cup to compete for.”

The league seems determined to finish the season when/if appropriate. Here's what commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this month:

If the 2019-20 season does resume, it's unclear what format will be used. It's possible a few regular season games could be played to finish out the playoff race. Maybe the league would go straight to the playoffs and perhaps expand the tournament to allow teams close to a playoff spot to participate. It's hard to predict what will happen because there's no precedent for this scenario.

What we do know is that if the season returns, the Bruins will be well-rested and highly motivated to give another strong push for the Stanley Cup, and Bergeron will be among the players leading that charge.

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