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Rookies Show Veteran Poise

by Samantha Wood / Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins' goaltender Tuukka Rask makes a glove save on Montreal Canadiens' Mathieu Darche during the second period  in Montreal, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes) – At the blueline and between the pipes, rookies were the driving force to the Bruins 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens last night. The win snapped the B’s 10-game losing streak, their longest slump since 1925.

Providence transplant Adam McQuaid notched his first NHL career goal and point, while freshman goaltender Tuukka Rask made 36 saves.

“If I sleep, it’s going to be on the scoreboard right away, so you try to be as sharp as possible,” Rask said. “That’s the downside of goaltending, I would say, because every mistake is going to be on the scoreboard.

“You have to be sharp all the time.”

It was the third-straight start for Rask, who has taken points in the last three games. The first two were 3-2 shootout losses on Feb. 4 vs. Montreal and Feb. 6 vs. Vancouver.

Last night was Rask’s fourth career shutout. The 22-year-old Finland native has seen playing time in 26 games so far this season, registering a .929 save percentage.

Defenseman Adam McQuaid was recalled to Boston Feb. 1, for the fourth time this season. Since then he’s been working hard to make his mark and contend for a permanent spot on the Bruins roster.

Last night the 23-year-old provided the game’s first goal late in the first period, with help from forward Marc Savard. The shot went off the stick of Canadien Ryan White, and eeked in behind Jaroslav Halak. It would prove to be the game-winning goal.

“I walked to the middle and there was no shooting lane so I shot for a tip and luckily it went off one of their guys and in, so I’ll take it,” McQuaid said.

Though it was his first appearance on the scoresheet in the NHL, McQuaid is no stranger to scoring in the AHL. In 31 games played with the Providence Bruins this season, the blueliner has registered 3-7-10 totals.

“Obviously to score tonight and get back on the winning track, it feels good to contribute,” he said. “Being able to get into a rhythm feels good.”

Though the two rookies have only played in a combined 38 games this season, their presence has already proven to be game-changing. They both said their job for now is to be available, prepared and valuable when they are called upon.

“It’s helpful to get games and try to put a little consistency in your games,” Rask said. “I play when they tell me to play and I try to win.”

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