With the Boston Bruins facing elimination on Sunday, Tuukka Rask came up big.
Perhaps you've heard this story before.
Rask was once again exceptional for Boston, making 28 saves -- including one that rolled off his back -- as the Bruins defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-1 in Game 6 to force a Game 7 on Wednesday.
It has been a familiar trend for Boston this postseason: Rely on the 32-year-old Finn when it matters most. In Games 6 and 7 of the first-round series against Toronto, when Boston faced elimination, and Game 6 on Sunday, Rask is 3-0, with a 1.33 GAA and .953 save percentage. Rask allowed only four goals in 178.81 minutes of play.
"He's been a big reason why we're in this position," teammate Patrice Bergeron said. "He was definitely in the zone."
Added defenseman Charlie McAvoy: "He just steps up when it matters, and we have all the faith in the world in him, and to see him play the way that he did, it's really not a surprise to us. We just believe in him so much, and we know the kind of person and player he is. He's our rock."
It was all the more impressive considering the atmosphere in St. Louis. Before puck drop, nearly 30,000 fans poured into a downtown square surrounding the arena, and the crowd buzzed as the Blues looked to clinch their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. St. Louis came out aggressively on the forecheck, maintained possession and had the first power play as they began the game with a 5-1 lead in shots. Rask took it from there.
St. Louis finished 0-for-4 on the power play. Many Bruins players called Rask their best penalty killer.