Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins bounced back nicely in a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night.
Rask finished the night with 23 saves on 24 shots rebounding from one of his worst games of the 2013-14 season against the Ottawa Senators last Friday night.
Bruins fans shouldn’t worry about the play of their goaltender. Even Rask has a bad game here and there. That night in Ottawa, Rask stated, “It was like I had a soccer net behind me.”
Monday night in Carolina was a different story. The B’s got out to a two-goal lead early and never surrendered it.
Rask was having déjà-vu as the B’s let up a late goal in Ottawa in the first period as they did to Carolina Monday night, but he didn’t let it affect him.
With the Bruins up one midway through the second period, Rask and the Bruins penalty kill, which has now killed a team record 32 straight penalties, was crucial holding off a 5-on-3. That momentum carried over into the third period, where the B’s sealed the deal.
“Tuukks (Tuukka Rask) played great in there, but also in the third,” said David Krejci. “Being able to be up and then having a real strong period all the way through as a team.”
Rask knows this team is good at putting the last game behind them and responding at the task at hand and it showed Monday night in Carolina.
“It’s one of those things that whether you respond or not, your team can go either way,” Rask said. “You lose a game like last time in Ottawa in the fashion we lost it, it can eat your confidence as a team. But today, we wanted to bounce back.
“We responded well and played a great third period – and that’s what feeds our team’s confidence,”
Three of the B’s four goals came from unusual suspects including: Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg and Johnny Boychuk, who had a rocket to give the B’s a two-goal lead midway through the third period. Milan Lucic added an empty netter to seal the Bruins’ 13th win of the year and pulled within one point of the Atlantic Division leading Tampa Bay Lightning. In the process, Rask improved to 11-5-1 on the year with a 1.64 goals against average.
Rask and the Bruins are clicking on all cylinders, and that’s a good sign heading into tonight’s contest against the New York Rangers – the final contest of their three-game road trip.