Thanks to a third period relief appearance, Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask
earned his team a much-needed win in the B's come-from-behind 5-3 win over the Blue Jackets Saturday night In Columbus' Nationwide Arena.
"You've just got to be ready -- that proves it again," said Rask, postgame. "You never know what can happen; you've just got to try to stay focused for 60 minutes."
Rask came off the bench to start the third period and immediately helped the Bruins kill off a Columbus power play en route to 11 saves in a 20-minute blanking of the Blue Jackets, which stopped a two-game losing skid for Boston.
"Timmy didn't look as comfortable as we've seen him," said Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien of starter Tim Thomas
, who stopped 23 of 25 Blue Jacket shots through 40 mintues. "It was a gut feeling from the coach's perspective."
The gut feeling paid off and also provided a gut check for the Bruins who had to bounce back from two very uneven periods of play.
"I had the intermission time to think about it," said Rask. "Can't say it's good to start off like that on a penalty kill, but if you get shots, you kind of get your sweat going, and feel good about yourself, it helps.
"It's better that way than just standing there and not getting a shot at all. But also, if you let in a a goal or two right off the bat, it might hurt you.
"But today, it turned out to be a good period for me, and we squeezed out the win, which was great."
Julien has always contended that he has two terrific goaltenders and praised Thomas even as he explained pulling the Vezina Trophy-winner for Rask.
"Timmy's as consistent as I've ever seen in a goalie," said Julien. "I've been here for five years, and I might have pulled him out twice, or three times at the most -- that's how consistent he is.
"Everybody's entitled to one of those games. I don't think he was bad, but i just didn't feel he was comfortable in his net, and we decided to go with Tuukka for the third."
And as has been the pattern here in the 2011-12 season, the the Bruins -- and Rask -- found a way to win even without captain Zdeno Chara
, who left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.
"They had some chances, and they kept having some chances in tight throughout," said Rask. "I don't think we were as sharp in front of the net as we usually are the whole game, but we still blocked shots, and we battled.
"We got the scoring from the D and forwards that we needed to get the win."