CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask somehow had the energy and wherewithal to find his way back to the dressing room after completing the longest game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Despite suffering a tough 4-3 triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at United Center, Rask appeared remarkably fresh standing in front of his stall.
He entered the game having won four of the previous five overtime games in which Boston played this postseason, but none of those measured up to this thriller in which he made a career-high 59 saves in the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup Final history.
He was asked if losing in triple overtime is worse than a regulation loss.
"Yeah, I'm sure like right after, it [stinks] because you're tired and you almost played two games," he said. "But at the end of the day, it's a loss, and that's the only thing that matters."
It will go down as the fifth playoff loss for Rask, who has been splendid this postseason. He still owns a 1.78 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff matches.
"We can't say enough about him -- all year he's been unbelievable for us and it was no different [Wednesday]," Boston forward Shawn Thornton said. "In the second and in the third periods, it could have been a different game if he wasn't standing on his head. He's been amazing for us."
The Bruins talked about bad breaks, untimely misses in critical situations, and their inability to hold a two-goal lead midway through the third period as the factors leading to the loss.
"We had the game ... we're up 3-1 in the third and then a terrible turnover (by Bruins defenseman Torey Krug) leads to a second goal and then a tough bounce leads to the tying goal, and we just gave it away," Rask said. "I mean, especially going to the third overtime, you're not going to make any fancy backdoor plays. That's where it came down to. I thought we were forcing the play a little too much [in the third OT] and they just shot the puck and it found its way in and it went in."
The game-winner against Rask 12:08 into the third OT actually deflected off two players before zipping past the Bruins netminder -- the final deflection came off the leg of Chicago's Andrew Shaw.
"It was a soft shot so I'm probably going to have it if he didn't hit it, but it gets deflected, it's tough," Rask said.
His 59 saves were the most in a Stanley Cup Final game since Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche recorded 63 in a 1-0 win over the Florida Panthers in the series-clinching Game 4 in 1996.
So now the 26-year-old goalie, who suffered his first loss since a 4-3 overtime setback to the New York Rangers on May 23, will get two days of rest before Game 2 of this best-of-7 series against the Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
"It helps [to have two days off], so we'll try to move on," Rask said.
"It was a soft shot so I'm probably going to have it if he didn't hit it, but it gets deflected, it's tough." -- Tuukka Rask on Andrew Shaw's game-winning goal
Rask did all he could for his club, making 23 saves during the overtime sessions. Overall on the night, he denied Marian Hossa on 10 attempts, Patrick Kane seven times, and Patrick Sharp's eight attempts. Chicago rookie Brandon Saad ended Rask's personal shutout streak at 149:36 (70 consecutive saves) when he scored to pull the Blackhawks within 2-1 at 3:08 of the second.
"He played great and was awesome for us ... we can't blame him for any goals," Boston forward Kaspars Daugavins said. "He's been keeping us in every game, so he has to take a lot of credit for going to triple OT too. They had a lot of chances and he was there, making great saves."
Boston forward Rich Peverley, who logged 28:51 of ice time, was also complimentary of Rask's heroic performance.
"Tuuk played an unbelievable game," Peverley said. "He kept us in the game the whole time and made some outstanding saves. There were some close calls both ways, but it went their way."
The Bruins did have several close opportunities that were turned away by Rask's counterpart. Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford made 51 saves, including the 29 shots he faced over the three OT periods.
"It just looked like it wasn't our night," Rask said. "You know right on that power play [to end the second OT], it was a deflection that [hits] inside the post ... we can't get it in. And then there were a lot of loose pucks in front of the net, we couldn't pounce on those. Daugavins has an empty net. It wasn't our night, I guess."