Rask blanks Lightning, 2-0

Rask blanks Lightning, 2-0
April 25, 2013, 10:15 pm
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BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask picked up his fifth shutout of the season on Thursday night, making 30 saves to help lead the Bruins to a 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the TD Garden.

Rask was often spectacular, and got offensive help from Dennis Seidenberg and Daniel Paille, who each scored in the second period.

Seidenberg put the Bruins up 1-0 4:22 into the period, as he ripped a slap shot past Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback from the right point. The play was set up by Brad Marchand, who skated the puck over the blue line down the left wing and cut across the high slot, dropping a pass off for Seiedenberg, who then stepped up and let it rip far-side.

Paille made it 2-0 as he let go a one-timer from the right circle after receiving a cross-ice pass from Greg Campebell. Shawn Thornton also got an assist for keeping the puck in the zone at the left point, sending it down to Campbell at the left half-wall, before he sent a hard pass through the slot to Paille.

TALKING POINTS, from Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty

GOLD STAR: The game-winning goal, two shots on net and four blocked shots in 24:34 of ice time while getting paired with Zdeno Chara for the first time this season shows exactly what Dennis Seidenberg can do when he’s in the best position to succeed. The Bruins don’t usually pair Seidenberg with Chara until they mean business right before the playoffs, and that was the message with only three games remaining in the regular season. Seidenberg did a great job in the second period of finding a shooting lane from the right point, and the Patrice Bergeron screen in front did the rest. While some of his teammates clearly still have a bit of work to do, Seidenberg looks ready for the playoffs.

BLACK EYE: Victor Hedman was on the ice for both goals against for Tampa Bay and didn’t have much of an impact in the 20:34 of ice time in the second night of back-to-back games for the Bolts. Hedman has always been a guy who's struggled against the overtly physical Bruins over the last few years, and that was the case again on Thursday with lost battles in front of the net. Vinny Lecavalier going without a shot on net in 20:52 of ice time certainly didn’t do the Lightning any favors, either.

TURNING POINT: The Andrew Ference fight more than halfway through the first period really seemed to snap the Bruins out of their funk, and helped pave the way for what happened in the final two periods. The Bruins got stronger and more physical, and grinded away at a tired Tampa Bay bunch before finally breaking through for a pair of goals in the second period. A Milan Lucic fight at the end of the second period helped sustain the momentum, and the Bruins had the closest thing they’ve had to a full 60-minute effort in a long, long time.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask now has shutouts in each of the last two games that he’s started, and he continues to be on point in the month of April as he’s building toward the playoffs. The second-period kick save on a Benoit Pouliot partial breakaway and the glove save on a Steve Stamkos snap shot from the slot were the stops of the night. A 1-2 combination of saves against Alex Killorn with heavy traffic around the net weren’t to be underrated either. Rask made 30 stops in his fifth shutout of the season, and that matches his career-high from his rookie year in Boston.

BY THE NUMBERS: 19-4-2 – the Bruins’ record this season when they score the first goal of the game as they did with Dennis Seidenberg’s second period goal on Thursday night.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “[The goalies] were so bad that game [in Philly] we might as well not have had a goalie at all. But we talked about it. We shook it off. We recognized that we have to be better. The level of hockey we played that game was unacceptable. Today, I think we responded really well.” –Tuukka Rask after making 30 stops while leading the Bruins to a 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.