BOSTON -- Coming off a 6-5 overtime loss in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, in which he yielded his highest goal total in almost five months, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask admitted it felt worse the morning after that game than immediately following the defeat. And with the Bruins tied 2-2 in their best-of-7 series with the Chicago Blackhawks, he was in no mood to dwell on the past.
Heading into Game 5 Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), Rask is all business.
Typically stone-faced the day after the loss, Rask wasn't interested in discussing peripheral things. He claimed he didn't notice Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews -- who combined for two goals and three points in Game 4 -- had been reunited on a line together. When informed his recently snapped home shutout streak of 193:16 established a new franchise record for the postseason, he barely batted an eyelash before admitting he wasn't aware of that either.
All he cared about was making saves.
"Every goal is stoppable. But I don't think there was any weak ones [in Game 4]," Rask said Thursday. "Mistakes piled up and then I wasn't able to bail our guys out. Sometimes you do it, sometimes you don't. To say I should have had it doesn't make any difference."
Chicago's first five goals all came off passes, rebounds or deflections that left Rask in vulnerable positions. And he said he didn't see Brent Seabrook's overtime winner, which was aided by traffic in front of the net, until the last possible moment.
To Rask's credit, he finished with 41 saves, his highest total in a game that did not go past a first overtime since the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when he posted 45 saves back-to-back in Games 3 and 4 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"Tuukka was not the issue," Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. "I think it could have been much worse if it wasn’t for Tuukka. Some of the saves he made were phenomenal. Tuukka has been, since Day One, our most consistent player and continues to be."
Rask's .872 save percentage in Game 4 was his second-lowest for a game in these playoffs. And though he did manage to keep the Bruins in a back-and-forth contest, the only number Rask is concerned with is the six goals he allowed.
"I always like to shut them down, obviously," Rask said. "I just try not to let in six goals again. You let in six goals, that's not something you look forward to repeating. They got a lot of traffic. They got those rebounds too. I try to control everything, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I think everybody just has to be better."
One thing that likely won't change for Rask between Games 4 and 5 is his unwavering confidence. The Finn has been hailed the entire postseason for his ability to stay cool and focused regardless of any adversity he may face. The same should hold true in Game 5.
"That's the only thing you can do. It's the Finals," Rask said. "It's just one game. You've got to move on. No matter if you let in one goal or six goals, it's a loss. Try to take the positives out of it and move on. It's not that tough."
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