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Two More Points for the Bruins

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins -- The Bruins have not one, but two of the top goaltenders in the NHL, and Head Coach Claude Julien said that’s a luxury from which he won’t hide.

That's good, because Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas would make that incredibly hard to do.

After winning the Conn Smythe trophy for his outstanding playoff performance, all eyes have been on Thomas -- a two time Vezina Trophy-winner. And lately, when Rask is in net, it’s anything but an easier game for opponents.

Rask’s .945 save percentage and 1.61 goals against average rank top in the NHL, while Thomas’ .943 save percentage sits at a close second behind his teammate.

In last night’s 2-1 overtime win against Phoenix, Rask turned away 21 of 22 shots.

“I think he knows we’ve seen that before,” Julien said. “He took over a couple of years ago because he was playing that way – he’s capable of giving us that kind of evening.

"All he needed was a little bit of playing time and he got that," added the B's bench boss. "Now he’s making the most of it.

"But I talk about [our goaltending] as being a position of strength. Right now I don’t have to say it, we’re showing it,” he said.

Rask didn’t see many shots last night, but made some remarkable saves.

His highlight of the night came when Bruins-kller Ray Whitney raced up the ice on a breakaway in the second period and tried to slide one past him, but the B’s goaltender made the save with his left pad.

The stop on Whitney, who scored late in the first period to tie the game 1-1 (and brought Rask's extended shutout streak to an end at 170:26), preserved the tie and helped the Bruins get to overtime where they eventually picked up the win.

“It’s kind of a mental grind when you don’t have that many shots, you’re just trying to stay sharp throughout 60 minutes,” Rask said. “And breakaways are always tough.

"[Whitney is] obviously a sneaky goal scorer as we saw in the first when he snuck that one by, me so it was tough.”

Forward Chris Kelly, who helped create some traffic in front of the net on defenseman Dennis Seidenberg’s game-winning goal, had nothing but praise for Rask’s performance.

“Yeah I don’t think it was our best effort,” Kelly said. “I give [Phoenix] credit, they played well.

"Obviously, we didn’t have our legs for the entire 60 minutes, but Tuukks gave us an opportunity to stick around and get the two points.”

---Anthony Gulizia
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