Rask getting the start vs. Kings


Rask getting the start vs. Kings

Both goaltenders shuffled off the ice with the rest of the Bruins team following morning skate, but Claude Julien went to the rare trouble of naming Tuukka Rask as his starting goaltender against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

Rask was solid in relief of Tim Thomas with 11 saves in the third period of Saturdays win over the Blue Jackets a game many believed the young Finnish netminder would be starting anyway had the team not been dropped into a two-game losing streak. It doesnt hurt that Rask also boasts a .956 save percentage while allowing only three goals in three games during the month of December.

Combine his strong play with the fact Thomas has routinely owned the Ottawa Senators through his career, and has been particularly dominant at Scotiabank Place. Thomas is 20-8 with a 1.95 goals against average and a .936 save percentage along with six shutouts in 30 career games and Scotiabank place is the setting where Thomas has put together the most road wins (9) and shutouts (3) in his Bruins career.

That made it a fairly easy decision for Julien to tap Rask for the home game against the Western Conference opponent that just gassed their head coach, and leave Thomas for the divisional foe he routinely dominates.

Tuukka is in tonight and my goal obviously is use Timmy in there tomorrow, said Julien. Timmy has always played some great games in Ottawa, and it was a situation where we felt it was the right thing to do.

With Rask between the pipes, here is the rest of the expected lineup for the Bruins:




Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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