Boston Bruins Highlights: Rask Steals the Show Against Sabres

Apr 20, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) jumps to avoid a shot on Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) during the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) jumps to avoid a shot on Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) during the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was playing in his third game since returning last Thursday night from a back injury that kept the 34-year-old netminder out for nearly six weeks. With a back injury, you never how the body of a hockey player is going to respond, never mind the body of an NHL goalie.

In his first two games, Rask was victorious against the New York Islanders as he made 22 saves in a 4-1 win last Thursday night, then the Bruins No. 1 goalie led the Black and Gold to a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals Sunday afternoon with 30 more saves.

Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres on the road, Rask was back between the pipes as the Bruins kicked off a key five-game road trip, with the first three against the Sabres, and Rask did Rask things in the first period.

With the Bruins clinging to a 1-0 lead on a Brad Marchand goal earlier in the period, the Bruins had just killed off a Sabres power play when Rask turned back Buffalo’s best scoring chance of the night.

Rask made a save at the left post, but the rebound squirted over to the right side when Buffalo’s Dylan Cozens was alone with a gaping net. Cozens one-timed the loose puck toward the open net, only to have Rask slide across and make an incredible save with his glove to keep the Bruins ahead in what turned out to be a 2-0 victory.

Rask has made some big saves in his career, but this one is right up there with some of his other ones.

Rask’s save kept the Boston lead in what turned out to be his 51st career shutout in the Bruins win. Rask stopped all 32 Sabres’ shots and allowed the Black and Gold to increase their lead in the East Division playoff race to six points over the New York Rangers, who lost 6-1 to the New York Islanders Tuesday night.

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With the Bruins opening a lead on NYR for the fourth and final playoff berth, getting Rask back a month before the playoffs start and in-game shape is key for coach Bruce Cassidy’s group.