Boston, MA --
Most people in New England now believe that in Finnish "Tuukka Rask
" means "calm young goalie," but it was the Bruins rookie goalie himself who led the racous on-ice celebration after the Boston Bruins outlasted the Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Rask, who made 32 saves and allowed only one goal to Buffalo's Mike Grier, pumped his fist as the final second ticked off the clock in his first playoff win on TD Garden ice.
"Yeah it was great," said Rask of the atmosphere in the building. "It was really loud and I think we feed off of that crowd.
"We had a lot of energy throughout the game and it showed on the scoreboard."
The atmosphere certainly helped the Bruins come out of their locker room ready to play.
"Well that's something we definitely wanted to do at home, because the last two games on the road have kind of struggled for us in the first period," said Rask. "But today we had a lot of legs and we got it going right away."
Although he is just a rookie in the NHL, somehow it is not surprising to hear that Rask does not get nervous, even when he is about to start a playoff game.
"You can't," said Rask. "If you get nervous, it's going to end up going in the net.
"It doesn't matter what's going on, you just try to stay calm.
"Sometimes obviously, emotions take lead and you get kind of frustrated or something, but you have to stay calm," he said.
Rask remained calm throughout the game, even when the Sabres crashed his net and scrambled for a would-be game-tying goal.
"That's something you expect obviously, but guys did a good job to keep it out of the net," said Rask, a-matter-of-factly.
But being calm doesn't mean that Rask doesn't up his intensity.
"Yeah, that's a good thing," he said. "It's a home game and that's something you got to do at home, especially in the playoffs.
"Today we did that and it's a great thing."
So, maybe, just maybe, Rask let himself enjoy the final few moments of the game too. After all, the fans certainly let Rask know that they thought he deserved the victory.
"Sometimes when you deserve it, when they do that, it's great," said Rask.