Boston, MA – After a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers Sunday afternoon, goaltender Tuukka Rask said he hopes his Bruins will use the game to begin to establish consistency as they barrel toward the playoffs.
“We always show up [and play] a good game and good effort like today and then the next game has been not so good,” he said. “So we have to talk and discuss about things and make sure we show up with the same kind of effort in Atlanta.”
It was the 17th win of the season for the rookie goaltender who blocked an even 30 shots on the day.
He held the shutout for 57 minutes of the game before a shot by Ranger Michael Del Zotto was deflected past him and into the net. Rask said he wasn’t too upset though, he was just happy to finish the afternoon with a win.
“Not at all. We were looking to get the win,” he said. “I think we played a really good game, we just deserved the win.
“It’s a frustrating goal because you see it, and you know it’s going wide, and then it just hits something and goes in. It’s a tough break, but today we battled back after that and that’s really good.”
Bruins head coach Claude Julien said his decision to play the 22-year-old was a no-brainer, given his performance of late. After his 36 games this season, Rask is leading the league with his 2.08 goals against average.
“It’s a question of you got to go with the goaltender that’s been the hottest as of late,” Julien said. “And I think, it’s been unanimous that right now, Tuukka is really playing well for us. You [have to] give him that opportunity.”
Teammate and game-winning goal scorer defenseman Dennis Wideman perhaps put it best when he explained why Rask has fit in so well between the posts for the B’s.
“He made some big saves. He’s been great for us all year,” Wideman said. “He’s just a guy that works extremely hard all of the time. He’s a competitor. He makes saves like that every day in practice on us.
“It’s good that he’s kind of found his role here and he’s rolling with it.”