Rask Makes History as Bruins Top Capitals
Goaltender becomes winningest goalie in franchise history as Bruins snap 14-game losing streak to Washingtonby Michael Tolvo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In search of a career milestone, Tuukka Rask and the Bruins were faced with a team that the Black & Gold had lost 14 consecutive games against dating back to Mar. 29, 2014. Rask, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller were the only remaining players from the last Bruins victory over the Capitals. On Super Sunday, David Krejci scored the only goal of the game in the second period set up by Torey Krug and David Pastrnak. Rask proved to be the difference, notching his 2nd shutout of the 2018-19 season and his historic 253rd career win. With the win, Rask passed Cecil "Tiny" Thompson to become the winningest goalie in the history of the Bruins organization.
"It's a testament to his ability to play every night, the record," said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. "We're happy for him. He's done a great job for the Bruins organization for years and his performance tonight was excellent. He was in control all night. We were pretty clean in front of him there until the end and when we weren't he was there for us. Happy for him and I think the guys in the room are as well and hopefully he keeps building on it."
Video: Cassidy speaks after 1-0 Win over Capitals
The Capitals had no answers for Rask, who turned aside all 24 shots thrown his way.
"I thought he was terrific," said Cassidy. "I felt we were clean in front of him. We didn't have to rely on him all night. We did in the third in stretches there. They had a good push, they responded, we responded. Looked in control all night. I'm happy for him. He's played well lately. Really well for us. He gives us a chance to win every night. Obviously, we'd like to give him a little more of a cushion but we're getting comfortable in these low scoring games and tonight it showed and he was there for us."
Rask often keeps things simple and matter of fact after the game, and this one was no exception.
"I enjoy it obviously," said Rask. "It doesn't change anything in my mind during the season or even after the season. Your name is in the history books, that's about it. Some day somebody else is going to come and break it. Hopefully I can put up a couple more, get some cushion."
Video: Rask Winningest Goalie in Bruins Franchise History
His teammates commended him for the big achievement.
"We knew it would be a matter of time," said Chara. "Great accomplishment. I think he's probably even happier about the way we played in front of him. Not to take obviously anything away from him. He made some big big saves for us. Congrats to him and I'm sure everybody is pretty happy about it."
Torey Krug, Rask's teammates since 2013, is glad to be on the same side as the Finnish netminder.
"It's great," said Krug. "He's got a really tough job in Boston. We see it every day, the way he competes and battles. He's won a lot of games for this organization and a lot of big games as well. Lucky to have him on our side and his stats speak for themselves."
Defend, Defend, Defend
A few days after Bruce Cassidy noted some lapses in the team defense, the Bruins put together one of the most complete defensive efforts of the season in the win over the Capitals.
"Tonight was terrific," said Cassidy. "They responded very well. It's a character group in there. Listen, they recognize that giving up odd man rushes late in periods and a goal after you score is just a mental thing you have to tighten up. They've been around a long time, they knew that too. So we just pointed it out a little more maybe - I don't know what word you want to use but got the message out there in a number of different ways and they responded well. And hopefully that's their attitude going forward. It takes 60 minutes.
"You're not going to win every night but if you play good team defense, you can overcome some things. I think offense will come. I really do. I thought we were real close tonight. Ran into a goalie that has played real well against us. We do that again night after night, we're going to get more than a goal."
Leader and captain Zdeno Chara took pride in the teams performance.
"Very stingy," said Chara. "We had our best I would say effort to be committed to play the right way. It was a very tight game. We needed saves at the right time and we did get that from Tuukka. One goal game against a very dangerous offensive team like Washington. It just shows that we finally got the win and it shows. The group was sacrificing some of the plays that we maybe did before. But for the team win, it was necessary for us to do what we did, really defend well."
Video: Chara speaks to media after 1-0 win over Capitals
On a record setting night, Rask gave credit to the rest of the team.
"Very very good," said Rask of the team defense. "Overall, all over the ice that's our style of play. Sometimes you win by winning 1-0. Sometimes it's a little bit high scoring game. But I think all over the ice we were on the puck and didn't give them a whole lot of time."
Torey Krug, often known for his offense, stood out for his strong work in his own zone.
"I thought he was really really strong on the puck today," said Cassidy. "Won his puck battles, made some real nice breakout passes to put out a few fires and get us out of our zone. For a guy that predominately runs the power play, obviously made the play on the goal, I thought he was real strong defensively."
Krug gave props to the defensive effort of the team as a whole.
"It was great," said Krug. "Total effort. It starts with the forwards. Having a good F3 high allows our D to have good gaps and we can trust them. All of a sudden, we're shutting down plays. All that aside, Zee led the way. He did an unbelievable job and Tuukks stood tall and made a lot of great saves. It was a total team effort."
Video: Krug addresses media after 1-0 win over the Capitals
The top pairing of Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy played a huge role in shutting down the high-potent Capitals attack. The duo was on the ice for over three and a half minutes to close the game.
"That's my job," said Chara. "Obviously, we have a job to defend and that's something that I thrive on, I take a lot of pride. That's what you work for in the summer. To be able to stay out there and defend and help the team win. That's the most important thing."
Chara's teammates noted the performance was typical for the ultra-competitive blueliner.
"Zee has been doing that forever," said Rask. "I think he takes pride in that. He wants to be out there when the game is on the line and Charlie is learning from one of the best. I think Zee is very good at saving his energy out there and reading the play and putting his stick in the passing lanes, which he did a couple times. Great."
Fellow defenseman Krug lauded his captain for the standout shift.
"Zee [Zdeno Chara] has been doing it for years so it's no surprise coming from him," said Rask. "He's a leader of our team and it's things like that that make him special. It's his compete and he's been doing it for years. Fun to watch."
The losing streak to the Capitals was well chronicled, and the Bruins were happy to put in an end to it on Sunday.
"Eventually, if you stay in the game and play the right way it's going to go your way," said Cassidy. "Tonight it did for us. We got the saves at the end, we were able to finish a play and I thought again, we didn't steal it, it was a well-earned win."
Chara noted the importance of playing the same way each game, regardless of the opponent.
"Like I said last game, we lost some points, we got some points," said Chara. "At this time of the year, you're looking for consistency and that's what we are kind of looking for, for next game. To play again the same way and really committed to do whatever it takes to win."
When the two teams met in January, the Bruins controlled much of the play yet came up short. On Sunday, the team enjoyed claiming two points.
"It's great," said Rask. "We've had some tight games. I think last time we played them it felt like we deserved a better fate but it didn't happen. It's one of those things that just happens in sports. You get into these streaks either winning or losing and at some point they're going to snap."
Should the Bruins face the Capitals again, Sunday's win will provide a boost of confidence.
"It definitely gives us a little bit of confidence if we're to matchup with them down the road," aid Krug. "We've played a lot of good games against them just haven't been getting the results. It's nice to finally get it and obviously they did a good job defensively as well. We didn't get much but one goal was enough."