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Rask's shutout ends Bruins' skid

by Brian Compton
It had been more than 80 years since the Boston Bruins were in such a funk, but Tuukka Rask put an end to the woes on Sunday.

Rask made 36 saves for his third shutout of the season and Marco Sturm scored twice as the Bruins ended a 10-game losing streak with a 3-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

With the win, the Bruins avoided tying the longest losing streak in franchise history set during their inaugural season of 1924-25.

"We needed this win," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "Our goaltender was outstanding and made the saves when he had to. Our guys found a way to get that third goal to really take the wind out of them. I think everybody wanted to do something to help the team."

Rask especially stood tall in the second period, when the Habs outshot the Bruins by a 15-3 margin.

"I just tried to stay calm," Rask said. "I tried not to get my head too much into the odd-man rushes and the things we gave up there. I just tried to stay calm and just be in front of the puck. The guys played great."  

The Bruins scored a pair of goals 2:24 apart late in the first, including Adam McQuaid's first NHL goal and Sturm's first of two with 3.2 seconds remaining.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 24 shots in his fifth straight start for the Canadiens, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.

"We had a slow start in the first period and they came up strong," Halak said. "They were skating much better than us to get the lead which changed the game. We were better in the second, but we couldn't solve their goalie."

McQuaid, who has been in the NHL for less than two months, scored with 2:28 left in the opening period. The 6-foot-4 defenseman's shot deflected into the net off Ryan White's stick.

"Savvy made a nice pass back to me and I had a little bit of time," McQuaid said. "I was just trying to get to the middle of the ice and a guy was in the shooting lane so I kind of shot it off to the side of the net. I think it hit one of their players and deflected in, but I'll take it."

Sturm made it 2-0 at 19:56 of the first when he poked Zdeno Chara's rebound past Halak for his 17th goal of the season.

Rask made a brilliant pad save to deny Tomas Plekanec's shot on a breakaway 11:19 into the second, which came shortly after a flashy glove save on Plekanec's slap shot from the slot.

"We were real sloppy and we were turning a lot of pucks over," Bruins forward Blake Wheeler said. "They were getting a lot of great chances. Without Tuukka back there, it easily could have been a 2-2 game going into the third. He saved us a bit there."

Sturm gave Boston a 3-0 lead 9:49 into the third when his long shot struck Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges' stick on its way past Halak. The teams recorded 11 shots on goal apiece in the final 20 minutes.

"It feels pretty good … I can tell you that," said Rask, who has started Boston's last three games. "We did a great job in the third period of keeping them off of the scoreboard. Getting that third goal has been a problem for us."  

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.

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