|(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)|
They have Tuukka Rask to thank for keeping them alive for 60 minutes.
Rask played out of his mind, on Tuesday night, and #40 was the #1 reason why the B's are leaving MSG with two points and the lead in the Atlantic division.
Rask turned aside 43 shots on the night, withstanding a constant barrage of Rangers attacks throughout the game, picking up his team in front of him, as they did not bring their best effort playing on a back-to-back.
A scoreless first period saw Dennis Seidenberg go down with an injury (he did not return) and Rask turning away a Chris Krieder penalty shot, setting the tone early that getting anything past him wouldn't be easy. The Rangers out shot the Bruins 16-6 in the first frame, as they constantly swarmed the B's zone trying to get something on the board early, but Rask stood tall.
Shawn Thornton, who's now on a goal-scoring tear, got the B's on the board first by ripping a shot past Henrik Lundqvist at 4:58, with Daniel Paille following suit at 11:30 by beating Hank while shorthanded on a backhanded breakaway that slipped past his five-hole.
Derick Brassard got one back for the Rangers just a minute later on the powerplay, using a screen in front of Rask to beat him glove-side. The goal snapped the B's streak of 33 straight kills on the penalty kill.
The Rangers threw everything they had at Rask and the B's in the final 20 minutes, but Rask was so in the zone tonight it was inhuman. This win is one we can all look back on when the season is over and declare it a defining moment for Rask and the team; playing their third road game in five nights, on a back-to-back in a hostile building and stealing two crucial points.
The B's clearly did not have their legs tonight, and they barely hung on by a thread as the Rangers continued to pound away trying to get the tying goal. Rask stood tall in net and delivered big time.
The win catapults the Bruins back into first place in the Atlantic, and the entire Eastern Conference, one point ahead of Tampa Bay, for now. Tampa is currently in Los Angeles down 2-0.
Their next game is Thursday versus St. Louis, which promises to be a rough and tough tilt with one of the better teams in the Western Conference.
- With the win, the Bruins sit atop the Eastern Conference with 29 points from 21 games played.
- The Bruins through 21 games have scored 59 goals, putting them 13th in the NHL, and have given up only 38, which is by far the fewest in the league.
- This was Bruins alternate captain Patrice Bergeron's 600th career NHL game, all played with in Boston. He has 444 career points.
- Nothing new on the Seidenberg injury, but me thinks a call-up from Providence will follow suit for Thursday with Adam McQuaid still nursing a lower-body injury.
- The B's were outshot 44-22, their largest discrepancy this season.