Rask stops the bleeding, B's shutout the Sharks to finish Cali roadtrip
Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins shutout the San Jose Sharks 1-0 at the Shark Tank, handing the Sharks only their second home regulation loss on the season, and saving them from flying back home empty handed.
photo via Dan Smith/Getty Images
Rask stopped all 26 shots he faced for his fifth shutout of the year, which leads the league. Rask rebounded in a big way after getting pulled in his previous outing versus the Kings Thursday night.
Carl Soderberg scored the lone goal on the night at 12:25, being in the right place at the right time, as newly returned Loui Eriksson fired a shot that took a deflection of defenseman Scott Hannan, and right to Soderberg, who beat goalie Anti Niemi for his sixth of the year.
The Bruins finished strong on their three game road trip in California, after not playing all that well in the previous two games. A 5-2 loss to the Ducks and a 4-2 loss to the Kings set up the Saturday night tilt with the Sharks, where an o-fer on the trip would have cast the Bruins in their first serious rut of the season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had tied the Bruins on points for the Division lead, and a third straight loss would have been a new streak of futility for the B's on the season.
Instead, Rask righted his game and the Bruins held the Sharks, eventually cashing in on Soderberg's tally to take the two points and fly back home with something in hand.
Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton both returned to action for the B's, with Loui returning from his concussion suffered back in December, and Thornton from his 15-game suspension. And of course, their respective situations happened in the same game, back on December 7th versus Pittsburgh. Both players saw a reduced ice time, with Loui skating to 13:18 and Thornton 8:42.
Bruins rookie d-man Kevan Miller dropped the gloves with Mike Brown for his career fight in the NHL.
Rask and the B'sdidn't spot the opposition a 3-0 lead, like they had in the two previous games versus Anaheim and Los Angeles. Improvements!
Ryan Spooner picked up his 10th assist of the season on Soderberg's goal. Spooner, for the time being at least, is the one to get the nod to keep playing, where Matt Fraser and Jordan Caron were the scratches.
Rask's fifth shutout gives him the league lead, vaulting him ahead of Lightning goalie Ben Bishop.
The road W puts the Bruins' road record at 11-10-0. The B's have four more road games remaining in January (Chicago, Dallas, Ottawa, N.Y. Islanders)