While some of his teammates might have had to manufacture some emotion facing the worst team in the NHL, Tuukka Rask had plenty of motivation headed into Sunday’s showdown against the Florida Panthers. Rask and head coach Claude Julien had both been on the same page when they identified goaltending as an area of weakness in Saturday’s emotion-packed loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rask had been beaten five hole on a Jarome Iginla shot from long distance, and then was solved on a short side strike from Kris Letang in the decisive third period of that game. After Saturday’s loss Rask said he “cost [the Bruins] a game” and Claude Julien said Rask “has got to make some of those saves”, and it was true with Rask allowing three damaging goals on only 24 shots. It doesn’t get simpler than that in the hockey criticism department, and the 25-year-old Finn responded the only way a goaltender can when he feels like he cost his team a game: he pitched a shutout. Rask stopped all 28 shots that he saw from the Panthers attack, and backstopped his way to his fourth shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over Florida at the TD Garden. “I like getting shutouts, obviously, but I think it was a tight game. They had some chances, so I’m happier that I didn’t let in that goal and let them back in the game,” said Rask. “That hadn’t always been the case for me, even this year so that’s something to take from this game and build on.” The game’s biggest save actually arrived in the first period with the Bruins nursing a 1-0 lead after Jaromir Jagr snapped a goal-scorer’s strike just under the crossbar on a curl and drag move. Florida outshot Boston in the first 20 minutes by a 10-7 mark and during one sequence Quinton Howden flung a puck at the front of the net with Drew Shore bearing down on the net.
Rask lives up to his word in shutout
NBC Sports Boston | Apr 22