BOSTON, MA – The Boston Bruins have the top goaltending duo in the league with Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask – a luxury that Head Coach Claude Julien has expressed his gratitude towards multiple times this season.
Rask has been labeled as a backup – but don’t be fooled by the title. The butterfly goaltender leads the league with 1.59 goals against average and a .945 save percentage.
Last night, Rask stopped 29 shots to help the Bruins pick up a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets – including a stop on Chris Thorburn’s penalty shot in the first period.
“He’s been good,” Julien said. “All three goals that went in, even the one from the half wall, all three goals were tipped, went off sticks and stuff like that. He was being challenged that way, and we were a little sloppy in front of him.
“He did a pretty good job, but he just continues to play well for us and win some games, and it makes our situation pretty nice.”
Rask said that the game was a tough one, but he had to keep battling until the final whistle.
“They had good tips and one went off a skate and stick and that happens,” Rask said. “You just have to battle through that and work hard through it, hoping that good things happen and we were able to win.”
Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said the team looked sluggish in the first two periods as they fell behind 3-2, and he credited Rask with helping the team pull out the W.
Rask made eight saves in the final period, shutting out Winnipeg as the Bruins packed on three goals to complete the comeback effort.
“He’s been really good – every time he’s been in net this year he’s been the backbone of our game,” Seidenberg said. “Tonight, he helped us out – we were struggling in the first two periods and again, it’s good to have those two guys back there to bail us out.”