Tuukka Rask Saves the Boston Bruins’ Bacon in 2-1 Win

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

If not for the strong goaltending of Tuukka Rask, this Boston Bruins game against the arch-rival Montreal Canadiens could have been a lot uglier on the score sheet than it was in reality. The Bruins scraped together a 2-1 win after some shrewd line changing, but before and after that, Rask carried the water for his teammates.

Especially in the first half of the first period, a flurry of Habs shots and net dislodging and acrobatic heroics from Rask, at least one or two of those shots could have very well crept across that goal line. But they didn’t, and so despite the Bruins playing like shadows of themselves at times, Rask gave them the security they desperately needed from their netminder. Those who are still doubting his abilities as a starting goaltender would be wise to reconsider.

The team wasn’t able to put their first shot on Carey Price until midway through the first period, but then the Habs were unable to get near Rask for the first half of the second period. All in all, this game was often unexciting and frustrating at times.

But then after the second intermission, two lines looked different–and that’s when the Bruins were able to strike. Coach Claude Julien put Nathan Horton with Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell, then slotted Tyler Seguin in with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

Krejci, who’s getting closer to point number 300, did what he does best: quietly, unassumingly helps the team. He provided a great assist that brought Seguin his first regulation, goalie-in-the-net goal of the season. It’s about time, Mr. Seguin. Maybe now that the first one has been scored, all the others won’t be so hard.

Not long after that, Krejci did it himself, putting the Bruins up 2-1, a lead they were able to hold on to for the rest of the game–yes, thanks in great part to Rask.

The Bruins power play continues to be awful, and no goals were scored on Boston man-advantages, but as the game progressed I saw them at least trying a little harder when they were up one guy. There were, however, some foolish and questionable penalties at times–gee, it’s good that the Bruins are still skilled on the penalty kill.

Ryan Spooner debuted against the team he and his father grew up cheering for–though he changed his allegiances when the Bruins drafted him. According to his roommate and Providence teammate Torey Krug on Twitter, he won’t have to pay rent this month because of the job well done.

Now it’s going to be a few more days until the Bruins play again. They’ll be back home at TD Garden to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 9 in a matinee game at 1 p.m.

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