There is not much more you can say about Tuukka Rask. He stopped 134 of 136 shots thrown his way by the high-octane offense of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He held Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin off the score sheet in the process. If you told Bruins fans that two weeks ago, they would have called you crazy. Well, it happened and Rask stonewalled the entire Penguins team allowing two goals in nearly 14 periods of play.
Rask improved to 12-4 in the playoffs recording his second shutout as well. His goals against average dropped to a miniscule 1.75 while his save percentage jumped to .943.
He played phenomenal again in Game 4 Friday night at TD Garden, making 26 saves to send the Penguins home for the summer.
“I mean every game starts with a zero, so you have a chance to shut them out, but I played good, but I think for the most part our team played really good too,” Rask said. “Even today they didn’t have too many quality chances and that helps the goalie a lot.”
Rask did not take all the credit for his superb play, he stressed it was a team effort shutting down the Penguins especially their top two stars.
“You’ve got to take care of a guy like that because if you give him room he’s going to make plays,” Rask said. “He’s really dangerous, so it tells a lot about our team to be able to shut those guys out.”
Rask has played with this core for a full season now and he reiterated how easy it is to play behind a team like the Bruins.
Head Coach Claude Julien had all the praise in the world for his goaltender after Friday night’s clinching victory.
“I think it’s great, I mean, you know, Timmy did it for us for numerous years and to a certain extent you go to hope that Tuukka learned from that as well and seized the moment when he had the chance,” Julien said. “Although they’re different personalities, both have good personalities, don’t get me wrong, but different personalities. I think a lot of Timmy’s commitment and desire to be the best he could be every night has rubbed off on Tuukka. Tuukka has learned from that. Right now, he’s in the zone that you hope he can hold on to.
“Without that kind of goaltending, you don’t get a chance at winning a Cup.”
Rask and the Bruins will look to keep the good times rolling as they prepare for either the Blackhawks or the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.
When asked what he will do with his time off until the Stanley Cup Rask replied, “I’ll just hang out, try to get my rest and stay focused and get ready for the next one.”