Okay Bruins fans, you can go back to loving Tuukka Rask after his 28-save effort in the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Rangers in Game 5 Saturday night at the TD Garden.
Rask has been rock solid for the B’s all season long and one “slip up” in Game 4 was not going to stop the man who got them to this position.
Milan Lucic was not surprised to see Rask bounce back in the least.
“Yeah, not at all,” Lucic said. “Those things happen, right? Happens to everyone. I’m sure it was on the Top 10 Not Plays of the Day so, I definitely think we can laugh about it a lot more now that the series is over and like I said, since the second period on, I think you could see the determination in our club to end the series here tonight and we definitely did that.”
Tim Thomas is a thing of the past and Rask is making believers out of the Bruins’ faithful. He finished the year with a 19-10 record and posted five shutouts to go along with his .929 save percentage and 2.00 goals against average.
Things have been no different for Rask in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Finnish goaltender is 8-4 with a .928 save percentage and a 2.22 goals against average.
If the B’s want to have another shot at Lord Stanley, Rask is going to have to come up big as he has all season long for this team and he showed that rebounding after Game 4.
Rask had no bigger save than on Ryan Callahan’s breakaway midway through the third period to keep the Bruins ahead 2-1.
“Well our goalie coach told me after, I think it was Game 1 when he scored on that breakaway that he never goes backhand,” Rask said. “So, I was banking on him shooting and keeping it on the forehand, but he went backhand and I just extended my leg and blocker there and made the save.”
Gregory Campbell knows Rask has been there all season long for the B’s and tonight was no different.
“He’s a guy that time and time again shows up to big games and we really rely on him,” Campbell said. “And again tonight, he was really good.”
Rask has been the answer all year for the Black and Gold not the problem. He has been consistent in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs and deserves high praise.
In order for the Bruins to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, Rask will need to shut down Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla and the high-powered Penguins.
The Black and Gold will get some well-earned rest as they finally finished off a series in less than seven games.
“I think it’s huge,” Rask said about clinching the series Saturday night. “We definitely didn’t want to go back to New York. We felt like we should have finished the series off last game, but we didn’t play good enough. And then coming home for Game 5, we just wanted to play a real solid game and finish things off. And it’s big to get a couple days off and get some rest for the guys.”
Bruins versus Penguins. Iginla versus the team he “almost” came to. Jaromir Jagr versus his old team.
All the storylines are there, but the biggest headline will be if Rask can keep Crosby, Malkin and company from lighting the lamp.