April 25th, 2014 by

Player of the Game: Bruins-Red Wings Game 4

Player of the Game: Bruins-Red Wings Game 4

To no surprise, the Detroit Red Wings were in desperation mode during Game 4 Thursday night. With the returns of Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi, the Red Wings liked their chances.

Early on, Mike Babcock’s team came out firing on all cylinders and grabbed a 2-0 lead early in the second period on Tuukka Rask and the Bruins.

Rask had only allowed two goals in three games prior to Game 4. Things could’ve been a lot worse, but Rask limited the damage allowing his team to tie the game at two and then eventually win the game in overtime. Rask made 35 saves on the night, 14 of which came in the first period.

“We weathered the storm in the first period,” Rask said after earning his third playoff victory of the 2014 playoffs. “They had a step on us definitely and got the lead, but I think we got better as the game went along and we got rewarded.”

We can look at the ridiculous glove save on Tomas Tatar in front of the net or the highway robbery on Jonathan Abdelkader who was on a breakaway in the extra frame as the key moments. Rask was sensational Thursday night and he’s been throughout the first four games of the series.

“They got the breakaway early, but after that we took over,” Rask said about the overtime. “It was one of those things where you’re just hoping we score because it looks like we’re getting the chances. You’re hoping to get that lucky bounce.”

The Bruins have allowed four goals in four games. Rask owns a 0.96 goals against average while sporting a .966 save percentage. He also has a shutout to go along with those Vezina Trophy Finalist stats.

If Rask doesn’t come up big in Game 4, Jarome Iginla does not get the chance to wear the “Old Time Hockey” jacket that is provided to the player who the team thinks deserves the honor. Brad Marchand may have been the scapegoat after missing two wide open empty net chances that could’ve had the Bruins ahead earlier.

Babcock knew his team would come out playing like “men” instead of “boys” in a must-win game and they did, but Rask and the Bruins provided to be too much for his club.

“I thought we had a real good push at the start,” Babcock said. “I thought Rask was good and we could have been up (by more goals) after one, but we weren’t and they stuck with it.”

Rask improved to 8-4 in 12 career playoff overtime games. This game was sent to over time essentially because Rask was not allowing that third goal. His confidence is rising and Rask feels more than comfortable with his defense in front of him. When he needs to make a save, he does.

Rask and the Bruins will look to close out the series on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. The B’s owned a  3-1 series lead versus the Toronto Maple Leafs last year after winning Game 4 in overtime, but they’ll hope that history doesn’t repeat itself again.

See what Rask, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Jarome Iginla had to say about their Game 4 overtime win Thursday night.

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