Thanks to the play of goaltender Tuukka Rask
, the B's broke a four-game losing streak and wake up in Tennessee in third place in the Eastern Conference and with a solidified four point lead over the Montreal Canadiens for first in the Northeast Division.
|Rask makes a save against Columbus Blue Jackets' Scottie Upshall during the shootout of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 15, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. The Bruins beat the Blue Jackets 3-2. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) |
"The first half of the game was one where we were kind of grinding it out and not really being on top of our game," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, who presided over the 2800th win in Boston's NHL history.
"I thought the second half of the second period we started controlling the puck a little better, hanging on to it in the offensive zone and moving it around and consequently having a little bit more control. And you know it was nice to see that even if they took the lead in the third we found a way to get back into it.
"We had to kill six penalties tonight...and probably the best penalty killer tonight was our goaltender," added Julien. "He made some outstanding saves and it’s nice to see Tuukka play that well and certainly it’ll give him and the rest of the team confidence."
Rask was often spectacular during a contest that Julien called "one of his biggest and best games this year."
For his part, Rask (34 saves) said he felt comfortable throughout the game, but was glad to have some luck on his side as the Blue Jackets swarmed his net in the third period.
"Yeah, they had I think three pretty good chances," said Rask. "It just happened to hit me.
"There’s those games where it doesn’t hit you and those games where it does hit you."
Rask's nine-save third period set up a perfect overtime and shootout for the young netminder.
"We haven’t been a great overtime team this year," said Rask. "We had the puck right from the start and had some chances, but couldn’t score. And then it was kind of going back and forth and both teams had chances.
"But we won it."
Thanks to Tyler Seguin
's shootout tally, and a perfect penalty shot contest for the goalie, Rask won it.
"I think after making those saves, in his mind he probably thought ‘nobody’s going to beat me tonight,'" said Julien."He was very poised and I thought he did a great job in the shootout."