Tuukka Rask didn’t have to work all that obsessively to earn his NHL-leading seventh shutout of the season against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night, but the numbers don’t lie.

Rask stopped 28 shots in a 3-0 victory and probably shouldered his biggest part of the workload in the opening 10 minutes when Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp were flying around creating scoring chances. Once the Bruins recognized the stretch passes the Blackhawks were employing to string their forwards free, Chicago started settling for shots further and further away from the slot.

“It was kind of a weird game from that point. A lot of it was played in the neutral zone, I think, and not too many scoring chances on either end,” said Rask, who also said it was their team’s best “60-minute effort” in quite some time. “We managed it better than they did, I think, and it paid off for us.”

Rask is second among NHL goalies with a .931 save percentage behind only Minnesota’s Josh Harding, and is third with a 2.01 goals-against average behind Harding and St. Louis Blues backup goalie Brian Elliott.

The fact that both Harding and Elliott have started less than 30 games leaves the Finnish netminder as the highest statistically-rated goaltender in the league and poised to be a Vezina Trophy finalist for the first time in his career.

“He’s got my vote. I know I’m biased. But like I said, he’s been our best player all year long,” said teammate Chris Kelly. “The team is having success, so I don’t know what else you can ask for.