Bruins

Rask answers Bruins' call against mighty Lightning

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Rask answers Bruins' call against mighty Lightning

BOSTON – It wasn’t a spectacular, stand-on-his-head performance from Tuukka Rask on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But it didn't have to be.

Rask simply made the key save at the vital part of the game and played well when called upon in making 19 stopsin Boston’s 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. He's struggled pretty much all season, but made the clutch stop at the important time in the game.

Certainly it was the kind of winning performance that the Bruins require out of both goalies, but weren’t getting anything close to out of their No. 1 (Rask) this season.

“He’s a goalie, he’s a pro, and he’s a competitor," said coach Bruce Cassidy. "I think at some point as a goalie, you need wins. Was this the time? Probably. There’s a lot of chatter lately. So for him to step up and get it done, and for us to play well in front of him – not have to stand on his head, that’s the other thing. . . . I think he’s going to feel good about it and sleep well tonight.”

While it’s pretty clear the pressure was squarely on Rask headed into the start against the NHL’s most explosive offense, the Finnish netminder brushed a lot of those notions off after the game like they were Tampa testing shots from the outside. Instead he saved his best on a side-to-side kicking leg pad save on a Nikita Kucherov bid in the final 30 seconds of the second period, and also had the good fortune of a Tyler Johnson net drive harmlessly bounce off the far post at a precarious time in the game.

Rask gave up a couple of goals, but talso seemed to have a unique ability to step right back into his role.

“I needed it. I need [the wins]. It was good to see, there was a post-and-out today. That’s always a positive,” said Rask. “So enjoy the little things I guess, because you know, so many times [the second period scoring shot] hits my heel and goes in, and today it didn’t.

“Well those are the saves the people expect you to make, and you talk about after the game that, you should have saved that and keep the lead,’ and now you talk that it was a timely save. So it’s something that you always do, you want to do, and you try to do, and hopefully more often than not you actually save those.”

On Wednesday night, Rask made those timely saves against the mighty Lightning, and is simply hoping to be able to extend a winning streak.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Veteran D-man Fayne among first B's camp cuts

Veteran D-man Fayne among first B's camp cuts

With the Bruins traveling group from China now on their way back to Boston to be reunited with the rest of the team at the end of this week, it was time for Boston to make their first cuts of training camp. There were no shockwaves with any of the moves as veteran NHL D-man Mark Fayne and forward Marcel Noebels were released from their veteran tryout agreements, and junior players Cedric Pare, Daniel Bukac and Kyle Keyser were all returned to their respective junior hockey teams.

Wiley Sherman, Austin Fyten, Olivier Galipeau, Brett McKenzie, Joel Messner, Tanner Pond and Alex Sakellaropoulos were also reassigned to AHL training camp, which should be getting started in Providence in short order.

The most notable of all the cuts is probably the local hockey product in 31-year-old Fayne, who has played 389 NHL games for the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers over his career. Fayne was buried in Edmonton after signing a decent-sized contract with the Oilers, however, and hadn’t seen any NHL action since the 2016-17 season.

The 23 Bruins players returning from China will get a couple of days off after arriving back in Boston per the parameters of the CBA, so the Black and Gold will be operating with a smaller group in camp for the next few days until the two camp groups get reunited.

The real question is how long 18-year-old rookie sensation Jakub Lauko will remain in camp with the Bruins after scoring in his preseason debut last Sunday, and then scoring again on a breakaway in Tuesday night’s preseason win over the Capitals in Washington. So far he’s shown the speed, tenacity and maturity to be able to play at the NHL level, but things are obviously going to get more challenging for him as goes along.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Highlights of Boston Bruins' 3-1 exhibition win over Calgary Flames

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AP Photo

Highlights of Boston Bruins' 3-1 exhibition win over Calgary Flames

FINAL SCORE

Bruins 3, Flames 1

IN BRIEF

Jake DeBrusk scored two goals, including the game-winner in the third period, as the Bruins complete a two-game sweep of Calgary in China. Click here for today's box score.

BRUINS EXHIBITION RECORD

4-0-0

DeBRUSK'S FIRST

DeBRUSK'S SECOND

EVAN TUUKKA RASK GOT INTO THE ACT

WHAT'S NEXT

  • SATURDAY: at Red Wings, 7 p.m.
  • MONDAY: at Flyers, 7 p.m.
  • WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 26: vs. Red Wings, 7 p.m.

 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE