Rask shows he's no second-string talent

BOSTON -- Another start, another win for Bruins backup goaltender Tuukka Rask.

It wasn’t exactly pretty, but Rask proved yet again that there is no off-night for the opposition when he is in net. Despite letting in three goals, the backup to All-Star starter Tim Thomas notched his sixth straight victory on Tuesday night, making 29 saves in Boston’s 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Tuukka allowed three goals in the first two periods but stopped all eight Winnipeg shots in the final frame. At the other end of the ice, the Bruins' offense scored three unanswered goals early in the third period to escape a 3-2 deficit and give Rask his 10th win of the season in just 15 appearances.

“All three goals that went in, even the one from the half-wall [by Jets forward Eric Fehr], all three goals were tipped, went off sticks and stuff like that,” noted head coach Claude Julien after the game. “So he was being challenged that way, and we were a little sloppy in front of him and he did a pretty good job.”

Rask’s highlights included a denial of Jets forward Chris Thorburn on a first-period penalty shot and a sprawling glove save on winger Tim Stapleton in the second period.

“He just came down quite a bit and went pretty much just backhand high-blocker, and I got my body in front and squeezed in,” said Rask of Thorburn’s penalty-shot


Rask’s big save on Stapleton was also timely for the Bruins, who would have faced a 4-2 deficit heading into the final period had it not been for his strong glove


“He’s been really good,” said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. “Every time he’s

been in net this year he’s been the backbone of our game. Tonight, again, he helped us out when we were struggling in the first two periods. Again, it’s good to

have those two guys [Thomas and Rask] back there to bail us out.”

Rask improved to 10-1-1 in his last 12 starts and is 10-4-1 on the season. In limited time, he leads the NHL in goals against (23), GAA (1.59), and save percentage (.945).

Since the Bruins’ 2-1 loss to the Jets on Dec. 6, Rask is 6-0-0 with three shutouts. Not bad for a backup goaltender.

“He just continues to play well for us and win some games, and [he] makes our situation pretty nice,” added Julien.