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Sweet 16 for Rask

by Samantha Wood / Boston Bruins

Carolina Hurricanes' Brandon Sutter (16) has his shot blocked by Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, March 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker) – After the B’s 5-2 win in North Carolina last night, Boston's winning goaltender Tuukka Rask humbly attributed much of the success to the strong offensive presence he saw from the team in front of him.

Despite 30 saves, Rask was adamant that the offense was the Bruins strong suit that night.

“It’s easier for sure [to have a big lead], but it doesn’t happen too often for us,” he said. “It was a tight game going into the third and we killed the penalty and got the goal, so that was big for us and something to build off of.”

It was the 34th game of the campaign for the 23-year-old rookie, who has thus far earned 16 wins and currently leads the league in goals against average, with 2.09, and is second in the league with his .928 save percentage, trailing only Buffalo's Olympic MVP Ryan Miller.

Not bad for his first full year in the NHL.

So, Bruins head coach Claude Julien pointed out Rask’s strength in goal when he talked about the important Black & Gold victory.

“Tuukka was good for us again tonight,” Julien said. “He made some timely saves, and had some tough shots.

“He had some traffic in front of him and he stood tall.”

Despite his success however, Rask could not help but point out a third-period Carolina goal, slipped into the net by Erik Cole. It brought the Hurricanes within one score of the Bruins, but that possibility was quickly dashed by two late goals from Michael Ryder and David Krejci.

“It was a huge goal, but right after that they came back and scored on us, so that was kind of my mistake there,” Rask admitted. “But it was a big win for us.”

After missing three games due to injury, Rask said he’s just happy to come back for his first start with a win.

“I felt good,” he said. “I played yesterday, a couple periods, but other than that I had some time to get my body to recover from the injury and from the games and I felt good.”

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