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Rask Starts, as Bruins Get Set to Wrap Season Series with Canadiens

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BostonBruins.com - "Tuukka, guys, Tuukka," Head Coach Claude Julien smiled to reporters pregame at TD Garden, as the Bruins were getting set to face the Montreal Canadiens in the final game of the season series.

It will mark Rask's 11th straight start. He enters the night with a 7-2-1 record in his 10 consecutive starts.

Asked following the Bruins' 2-1 win over the Islanders on Saturday night if he would want the nod for this game, Rask replied, "Hey, whenever they tell me to play, I’ll play."

"Doesn’t matter to me. Nobody’s told me otherwise, so I’m sure I’m playing, but you know, if I play hopefully we’ll get a win so I don’t have to answer these questions again."

Rask has a 3-12-3 record against the Canadiens through 19 career appearances.

The Bruins' season series with Montreal hasn't exactly gone the way the Black and Gold would have liked it to in 2014-15, for both Rask and the squad in front of him.

The Bruins have been outscored 13-5 through the first three games of the series. Those three games came back in October and November. The Black and Gold are in a much different position, having picked up points in 14 of their last 16 games.

"We’ve always trusted each other and we can turn games around - just a matter of getting those bounces and lately, we’ve been getting those," said Rask.

The netminder backstopped the Bruins with 39 saves in their 2-1 win over the Islanders on Saturday. The B's didn't have their best 60-minute performance, and Rask's play helped them keep the game close long enough for Loui Eriksson to score the game-winner in the third period.

"He’s in a zone, he’s just been really good for us, focused and even intense," Julien said following Saturday's win. "He’s just been determined athlete in this last little while and it’s made a big difference for our hockey team."

The Bruins - and Rask - aren't focusing on their lack of success against the Habs this season.

"I don't think we are thinking about what's happened in the past," Captain Zdeno Chara said pregame. "We know that we have to play our best against this team and we know that they play a certain way and if we don't play our way and stick with our game plan, then usually it's not going to be good results for us."

"We've been playing better, but we still have to improve on certain areas and we know that it's not going to be an easy game. These games have always been tough games and challenging and so we've got to get ready for a big game tonight."

Projected Lineup vs. Montreal Feb. 8

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Reilly Smith

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Loui Eriksson

Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - David Pastrnak

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Craig Cunningham

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Dennis Seidenberg - Adam McQuaid

Torey Krug - Kevan Miller

Starter: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Malcolm Subban

Scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Jordan Caron

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