– Anton Khudobin
came in between the pipes for Boston and delivered – yet again – in the Bruins’ 2-1, last-minute win in Ottawa on Thursday night.
The win snapped the B’s two-game losing streak and sent them on to Toronto with a bit of momentum. Khudobin stopped 28 shots, while improving to 6-2-0 this season. The backup goaltender continues to give the B’s a very reliable alternative to Tuukka Rask, when the number one needs a night of rest.
Khudobin made a number of important stops – including on Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg – toward the end of the second period, after Daniel Paille had tied the game at 1. The Bruins came out with momentum in the third and Dennis Seidenberg delivered the winning goal – his first tally of the season – with just 1:04 to go.
“It's always important, you know?,” Khudobin said of making timely saves. “Just make the strong saves, don't give up a lot of rebounds, guys are going to feel good and they're just going to play offensive. But, if you're going to make good saves...it's always [important].”
“Real big, he stood back there tall,” said Seidenberg, who donned the B’s victory rooster t-shirt postgame. “He saved us a few times. We gave up a lot of odd man rushes, a lot of breakdowns, so he did a great job. That's his win at the end.”
“Anton's been stellar all season for us,” added Aaron Johnson, who took the place of the injured Adam McQuaid. “It's just a matter of us playing well in front of him, he made a couple big saves there in the second period that kept us in there. It was a big key to why we won tonight.”
While the defensemen gave credit to Khudobin, the goalie praised them right back.
“Of course, that's what we have to do, pretty much,” said Khudobin of the team playing well defensively. “If you want to get results, you have to play good defense. I tried to make some saves, but still guys played really good in front of me and we just got the result.
“I made, maybe, some saves, but they did their job – great job together and we got the result.”
B’s Head Coach Claude Julien downplayed the suggestion that by playing well, Khudobin was pushing for more playing time. The B’s bench boss said the focus is on having two goaltenders at the top of their game.
“Right now it's not so much about pushing, which is not a bad thing, but it's about having two great goaltenders and keeping them as fresh as you can, as sharp you can,” he said. “If you have that combination, which I think Ottawa has and a few other teams around the league have, then you're giving yourself a better chance.
“[Khudobin’s] been good. We've had no complaints about him all year, he's been pretty solid. He played a great game in this building last year, and he played another great game here today.
After struggling in the third period in recent games, Khudboin was happy to see the team play a strong final frame on Thursday night in Ottawa, where the Black & Gold have now won 11 straight games.
“I think every game we have to give a strong third period, we showed that we can play that way, that's what is most important, I think,” he said. “We just have to continue to do that because a lot of games we've had the lead after the second period. If we're going to continue to do that, we're going to get a lot of wins.”