Goaltending isn't part of Bruins' 'bad habits'

Goaltending isn't part of Bruins' 'bad habits'
April 5, 2013, 12:45 am
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BOSTON -- Bad habits have led to a barrage of shots against Bruins goaltending the last two games.

On Tuesday night, the Ottawa Senators had 47. And on Thursday night, the New Jersey Devils had 40.

"A lot of things that we used to take pride in has slipped away from our game a little bit," said Bruins coach Claude Julien after Thursday's game against the Devils. "And we've got to bring that back to our play."

Julien said he plans to use plenty of video to show the team what they're doing wrong.

In the last two games, however, those bad habits do not include the goaltending.

Tuukka Rask made a season-high 40 saves in posting his third shutout of the season and the 14th shutout of his career in Thursday's 1-0 win over New Jersey at the TD Garden. It came just two nights after Bruins backup Anton Khudobin posted 45 saves in Tuesday night's win over Ottawa.

That was Khudobin's second-straight start, giving Rask four days and two games to think about his last two performances -- a 6-5 loss to Montreal last Wednesday, and a 3-1 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday.

"I'd just rather go out there and get my mind right during the game," said Rask when asked if he got his mind right during the time off. "[Khudobin] played great in Buffalo. He played great against Ottawa. So I wasn't feeling sorry for myself sitting out there. I was feeling good for him. He was kind of in that groove and was playing really good. So it was good to watch him for a couple outings there, and I felt good out there today."

Rask responded just the way the Bruins needed him to, because as the team's No. 1, he wasn't going to be sitting on the bench for a third-straight game, no matter how good Khudobin was in the last two.

And the Devils made sure he was ready early on, putting 17 shots on net in the first period.

"If they were looking to see if Tuukka was sharp or not, if that's the case, I think he got warmed up pretty good, and did a pretty good job for the rest of the game," said Julien.

Rask said that he wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

"I was saying to [Khudobin] in the first intermission that I'd rather take 17 shots than three or four shots, to get you kind of going," said Rask. "Even though they had 17 shots, there were a lot of shots from the outside. So it was good to get that feel for the puck."

"He was good tonight," said Julien. "He's one of the reasons we won, obviously. He made the big saves when he had to. He kept us in the lead, at times where they could have got themselves back into the game. But he was good for us tonight."