BOSTON (AP) -Tuukka Rask made the most of his first start in nearly 14 months.
The 21-year-old Finn stopped 35 shots for his first NHL shutout in his fourth start for the Bruins and Marc Savard scored to give Boston a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday.
"You don't want to fail because if you fail you don't know when you're going to get another chance," Rask said after making 15 saves in the third period to become the third Bruins goalie to record a shutout this season. "If you do good, you've shown that you're capable of playing at this level."
Savard scored with 22.2 seconds left in the second period and the Boston improved to 7-1-2 over its last 10 games.
"Give the kid credit," Savard said, "he's been waiting for his opportunity and he took advantage of it tonight. He's an NHL goaltender. We all know that. He's going to get his time, but right now he came in a did a good job for us."
Rask, regarded as the Bruins' goalie of the future, was playing in his first NHL game since Dec. 6, 2007, because an injury to Manny Fernandez had forced Tim Thomas to play the previous eight games. Rask raised his NHL record to 3-1-1 in recording his first win since Nov. 26, 2007.
"He's obviously a highly skilled goaltender and we had a lot of confidence going in knowing that he was going to do a great job," said defenseman Dennis Wideman, whose shot Savard deflected home in the second period. "Did we know he was going to do that great of a job? No, but that's great for him."
Rask accompanied the team to Montreal for Sunday's game and is expected to back up Thomas. Fernandez, out with back woes, was due back at practice Monday, when Rask, who had dressed as a backup for four games, is expected to be returned to Boston's American Hockey League affiliate in Providence.
But this was a special day for him and he planned to send the game puck home to his family in Finland.
Rask, who had last played in a game for Providence last Saturday, made several good saves over the first 40 minutes, but really wasn't called on to be spectacular until the final period. The Rangers, losing their second straight game, put pressure on, but Rask was sharp in the third period - and got help.
Wideman deflected Nikolai Zherdev's shot as the Rangers sent a rebound toward an open net from the side of the crease. New York's Michal Rozsival then took a shot that hit Rask's stick and went off the crossbar.
Neither Rask nor Henrik Lundqvist was seriously tested more than occasionally through almost all of the first two periods, when what looked like a harmless play turned into the game's only goal.
Nigel Dawes, taking a hit from Milan Lucic, failed to get the puck out of the zone as it came around the right boards and Wideman let a slap shot go from the right point. Savard deflected it down and into the net to extend his points streak to seven straight games.
"I just shot it and Savvy made a great tip, Wideman said.
Lundqvist complained the shot was knocked down with a high stick, but the call on the ice stood up after review. After the game, Lundqvist saw a replay and agreed with the call.
Rask is 19-15-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .918 save percentage for Providence. He had dressed as a backup for Thomas, but got the start Saturday because of the Bruins' game Sunday in Montreal.
The Rangers looked much better in the third period after coming out of their defensive shell.
"It was a fairly tight game for two periods," New York captain Chris Drury said. "When they scored, we opened things up and that's the way we have to play."
Notes: The win raised Boston to 6-0-3 against the Atlantic Division, 29-5-5 against the Eastern Conference. ... Defenseman Erik Reitz, acquired by the Rangers from Minnesota Thursday for Dan Fritsche, skated with his new team early Saturday morning but did not dress. ... Fernandez, who hasn't played since Jan. 8, skated Saturday morning and did not go to Montreal ... Before Saturday, four of the last six games between the two Original Six teams went to shootouts, each winning two. Last year, they split a pair of 1-0 shootout wins. ... Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick missed the game with flu-like symptoms.