Usually when you go to a game with your family or friends, there is that one play that you talk about on your ride home.
That play that Bruins fans discussed Tuesday night was the save by Tuukka Rask on Daniel Sedin after Milan Lucic and Torey Krug collided at their own blue line. The Bruins were on the man advantage at the time when the turnover happened, but Rask rose to the occasion and stoned Sedin, which seconds later led to Jarome Iginla’s 16th goal of the season.
Sure, there were many story lines to the game last night: Johnny Boychuk being an absolute animal from start to finish, the first line tallying five points on the night or Roberto Luongo’s shaky return to the TD Garden since his Game 6 appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, but tonight, Rask bounced back very nicely stopping 27 of 28 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
“Yeah, it’s one of those things where it’s like ‘oh my God’, especially the way the power play was going,” Lucic said with a smile after Tuesday night’s win. “It’s like, when it’s supposed to be something that gives you an advantage and something like that happens, it was just like, ‘just don’t go in’. Thankfully Tuukka made the save and we were able to go the other way and score it after that, but without Tuukka on that once it could have been one-one in a much different game.”
Boychuk, who also led Daniel Paille on his breakaway goal to put the Bruins ahead 3-1 late in the second period, applauded Rask’s huge save which changed the entire complexion of the game.
“It was a little bit sloppy for them to get the breakaway, but Tuukka bailed us out there and Zdeno made a great pass to Jarome and it was a nice goal,” said the 30-year old defenseman.
Rask earned his 25th win of the season after being pulled in his last appearance versus the Montreal Canadiens a few days before and he knows as much as the next guy that his save on Sedin was a game-changer.
Although Rask was a big part of the win, he spoke after the game about using this game as a confidence builder for the entire team.
“Yeah, every win I think is like that somehow,” Rask said. “I think today we played a pretty solid 60-minute game. I didn’t have to make too many saves there. It’s always good when they get a chance and you make a save and then your team scores right after. That was a good sign.”
Claude Julien was not surprised of the chain of events that transpired after Rask’s big save on Daniel Sedin.
“Not really, because you see it a lot in this game,” said the Bruins coach. “You see a save at one end and it ends up in the net at the other end. It’s something you see quite a bit, not something you like to see, but something that happens a fair amount of times in this league.”
These are the types of games Vezina Trophy winning goalies dominate and Rask proved why he should not be forgotten even in the wake of Chad Johnson’s recent success.
This game should be a building block for his confidence yet again, but with a 25-13-3 record, a .929 save percentage and a 2.09 goals against average, it is tough to argue he is any kind of ‘funk’.
And if Tuukka was in some sort of ‘funk’, well, he did a good job snapping out of it Tuesday night.