With 41 saves, Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask
helped the B's begin another winning streak and earned his first shutout of the season (and ninth of his career) in a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings in the TD Garden.
"I just tried to save every puck," said Rask postgame of Los Angeles' 20-shot third period . "You don’t want to think about shutouts because you might jinx yourself.
"A couple tough chances in the end, but that was it."
Rask minimized his own impact on the contest. His head coach did not.
"Well he was good tonight, arguably our best player," said Claude Julien. "He stood tall and they threw a lot of shots at him -- certainly not easy shots to stop.
"There was a lot of traffic in front of the net -- screens. He had the quick feet going, made the saves on close-range.
"He got better as the game went on," he said.
Both teams fought through ups-and-downs off and on the ice over the past few days.
After a four game losing skid coming into Boston, the Kings fired Head Coach Terry Murray on Monday. Meanwhile, the Bruins were without forward Gregory Campbell
and defenseman Zdeno Chara
-- both were injured during Boston's win over Columbus on Saturday.
"I think we just got to focus on our own game and we can’t look at the other teams too much," said Rask when asked if he had expected LA to bring extra energy to TD Garden after the firing.
"Obviously, you recognize what happened and it might give you a little extra boost when something like that happens," added Rask. "But we've just got to focus on our own game."
And Rask, now 6-1-1 in his last eight games, thought that the B's played well even without key players and explained he didn't believe Los Angeles took advantage of Chara's absence.
"I think we also needed to tighten up," said Rask. "We weren’t that bad we didn’t give too many second chances and lots of shots came from the outside.
"But it’s just one of those games where you get lots of shots against and I don’t think it’s [all] because of Zee missing."
As far as the B's approach in the last 20 minutes of the game, Rask said it was pretty simple.
"You just try to protect your lead and we hopefully get that third goal," said the goalie. "They came out hard, and got some pretty good chances, but were able to keep them off the scoreboard and then [Brad Marchand
] got a nice goal there to extend the lead so that was good to see."
One thing that Rask didn't see was his mounting save count in the final stanza.
"I don’t think you have time to watch the shot clock or anything, but you definitely feel the momentum changing at times and today they had a lot of chances in the third," he said. "And maybe we weren’t at our sharpest, but they came at us pretty hard, too."
Thankfully for the B's, Rask was sharp.
"I thought he did a good job the other night coming in and kind of settling himself in in the third period," said Julien of Rask's relief appearance on Saturday. "He just carried that into tonight."
"Yeah well the third period last game, it’s a pretty tough situation to jump in like that," said Rask. "The game is pretty much on the line, but with that said you just try to win every game.
"The team knows what I’m capable of and they’ve seen me enough so I don’t really need to prove that day-in and day-out
"I have to prove to myself," he added.