Rask loses battle of goaltenders in Winnipeg

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Rask loses battle of goaltenders in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG It wasnt a bad outing at all for Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins backup goaltender stopped 33 shots and was spectacular through portions of the third period while he held the Winnipeg attack at bay, but the moral of the story was that the young netminder was one mistake worse than Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec in a 2-1 loss at the MTS Centre.

Rask was forced into being spectacular if he wanted to win, but he was instead very good behind a team that couldn't score enough going for him.

It was a well-played game from both sides. They definitely played us hard. Both goaltenders were outstanding and Rask did a great job of making saves to keep us in the game at times, said Claude Julien. I thought he was good. When you dont play on a regular basis youve got to give him a chance to get into it. He made some unbelievable saves at the end to keep us in there.

The other goaltender was very good at the other end as well, so it was a good goaltender battle tonight.

There were defensive breakdowns by Joe Corvo in front of the net in both goals surrendered by Rask in defeat, but there was some level of culpability on the Bs goalies part as well. The first goal came off an Andrew Ladd rush down the left side of the ice that saw Corvo back way off the attacker giving him plenty of time and space to measure his shot.

Ladd fired a short side up high that completely fooled Rask and put the Bruins into a hole. Perhaps Rask was rusty, given the length of time since his last start, but it was surely a stop that hed like to have back.

You could tell we werent as fresh or sharp as we have been lately, said Rask. But we had plenty of chances and Pavelec played a great game. A loss is always a loss and we just need to move forward now.

Thats the way things stayed for the remainder of two periods through some heavy offensive threats by Ladd, Evander Kane and the hustling Jim Slater, but Boston finally broke through with a little offense for Rask in the third period.

Thornton redirected a puck thrown by Daniel Paille at the net, and gave Boston a whiff of potential victory. Unfortunately things opened right back up for Winnipeg. The Jets went right on the power play due to a David Krejci roughing penalty, and Bryan Little cruised through to finish off a face-off victory with a game-winning goal from the backhanded to the forehand.

Rask was protecting pass in front on the 2-on-1 rush led by Little, and the Winnipeg forward pushed a shot through the five-hole to the delight of frenzied home crowd for the Jets. The Bruins still had most of the third period and Milan Lucic had a handful of golden chances including one shot that bounced off the helmet of Pavelec in front of the net but Rask and Boston ended up falling in a defeat that dropped his personal record to 4-4-1 on the season.

It looked like it was going to be a one-goal game all the way to the end, said Rask. We played a pretty good game, but you cant win them all right? I hate losing, but you win some and you lose some. Youve just got to shake it off.

The Bruins will shake things off Thursday night with a showdown against an upstart Florida Panthers team serving as yet another Eastern Conference challenge for the reigning champs.

Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

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Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Tuukka Rask made 35 saves to help the Bruins hold off the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday

David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored to give Boston a 2-0 lead and the Bruins improved to 3-0-1 in their past four.

Evander Kane scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo. Robin Lehner returned after missing one game with a hip injury and made 32 saves.

The Sabres combined for nine goals in their previous two wins but the NHL's lowest-scoring team reverted to form from the first 21 games, when star center Jack Eichel was out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain.

Krejci got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first when he deflected Brandon Carlo's slap shot from the point off the right post and into the net.

The Sabres appeared to tie the game late in the second period but replays determined Brian Gionta kicked the puck into the net.

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 7:10 of the second at 7:44 of the third when he knocked on the rebound of his own missed shot. Bergeron initially hit the puck with his forearm on the left edge of the crease and skated around the net to chase down the puck and slip a backhand past Lehner.

The Sabres answered two minutes later, scoring on Rask for the first time in 109:12 this season. Sam Reinhart's feed off the rear wall set up Kane for a wrist shot from the slot that bounced in off Krejci. Reinhart has five points in his last four games.

NOTES: Bruins F Matt Beleskey was escorted to the dressing room in the final minute of the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. ... Sabres D Josh Gorges did not play after injuring his foot blocking a shot in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers. With Dmitry Kulikov (lower back) and Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain) also out, the Sabres were down three of their top four defenseman and recalled 19-year-old Brendan Guhle from the minors to make his NHL debut. Guhle hustled back to thwart a breakaway by Krejci late in the third period. ... F Anton Blidh became the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season after being recalled from the minors on Friday. ... The Bruins scratched F Jimmy Hayes. D Zdeno Chara, the Bruins' captain, missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Rask got a shutout in Boston's 4-0 win over Buffalo on Nov. 7.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Florida on Monday.

Sabres: At Washington on Monday.

 

© 2016 by STATS and The Associated Press.