Lost in the shuffle of a Brad Marchand
hat trick and a dazzling goal by Benoit Pouliot
in an 8-0 route over the Florida Panthers was the streak the Boston “back-up” goaltender Tuukka Rask
has strung together.
The shutout, Rask’s second of the season, stretched his shutout streak to 155:10 – over two and a half games worth of scoreless hockey.
While hat tricks and high scoring contests were the top story of the night, Rask stonewalled the Panthers potent offense, making 30 saves in the victory.
Despite his impressive run, Rask said that it has yet to alter the way his plays his game; fundamentally sound.
“You pretty much know, you know, if you don't mess it up, you're going win the game,” Rask said about playing with such a big lead. “Other than that you just try to focus on every time [and] every puck and it doesn't change anything in your game.”
Rask’s streak only bolsters the argument that Boston boasts the best goaltending tandem in the National Hockey League, with Tim Thomas
and his partner seemingly unbeatable this season and playing some of the best hockey of their lives.
“We're definitely both playing really well and the whole team's playing well in front of us so it could be one of the best times,” Rask said.
“I've felt pretty good the whole time. I try to feel good, try to get that good feeling from practice every time but it's tough to judge.”
The goaltender, however, acknowledges that his job is made much easier by his teammates around him and the fans in Boston.
“They didn’t have many scoring chances today,” he said, a nod to the play of his defensemen in front of him.
“We played a good game. Lots and lots of good things and lots and lots of goals so it's good for the fans.” ---Brian Smith