On Thursday night Tuukka Rask appeared in his first game since March 7. The Boston Bruins number one goaltender had missed the last month due to a back injury. In his absence Boston, still found ways to win as prospects Dan Vladar and Jeremy Swayman stepped up. Against the Islanders, Rask was in vintage form as he joined special company, in the Bruins second straight win.
In Rask’s return, he faced 23 shots and made 22 saves. The veteran netminder did not look like he missed anytime, and the Bruins offense dominated. While it was a relatively easy night for Rask, he made big saves when needed. As he won his ninth game of the season, he reached a significant career milestone.
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On Thursday night, Rask won his 300th career game. He became the first goalie in franchise history and 37th in NHL history to reach that mark. The former first-round pick is also just the 15th goalie to win 300 games with a single team. After weeks of anticipation, he has his latest milestone fulfilled.
As the playoffs draw closer, his play will be key. While the B’s have capable backups, a healthy Rask gives them the best chance to make a deep playoff run. Over the next few weeks, the Bruins should see the return of more key players such as Brandon Carlo. Last night, however, the Bruins’ top goalie eased any concerns about his health against a team that the Bruins have struggled against this season.
With their all-time wins leader back in action the Bruins, dominated for a full 60 minutes. Their newest acquisitions Mike Reilly and Taylor Hall, also made their presence felt. In the Bruins victory, Rask moved well laterally and had no restrictions. In one of Boston’s most impressive wins of the season, he was key to their success.
Although Rask’s future is uncertain, last night’s milestone is one he will never forget. The Finish native is a free agent this offseason and has played his entire career in Boston. Regardless of what the future holds, Rask’s importance was on display last night as he made history.