Talking Points: Rask saves B's in New York

Talking Points: Rask saves B's in New York
November 20, 2013, 1:00 am
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GOLD STAR: It was tied for a regular season high with 43 saves as Tuukka Rask stood on his head saving everything tossed at him except for one shot in a masterful performance for the Bruins goalie. Some of it was clearly the Rangers struggling offensively as they couldn’t muster more offense despite a penalty shot, multiple breakaways and three power plays for the Rangers, but Rask was also outstanding in victory. He’s been great since blaming himself for the third-period collapse against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night, and has stopped 68 of 70 shots since then while shutting down the Hurricanes and Rangers.

BLACK EYE: Brad Marchand continues to be in a funk that defies explanation. He had plenty of company on Tuesday night for a Bruins team that struggled mightily aside from the fourth line, Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask, but Marchand finished with no shots on net and a boneheaded cross-checking penalty in front of the New York bench to start the third period. He did pick up an assist on Shawn Thornton’s goal and opened up No. 22 for the clear shot by driving to the net, but the Nose Face Killah was far from good. There may be a healthy scratch in his future if he doesn’t start turning things around.

TURNING POINT: Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots in the first two periods when the Rangers threw everything they had at the Black and Gold, and then watched Anton Stralman smack a shot off the post in the third period. It appeared that New York finally got discouraged midway through the third period after watching so many good scoring chances go fruitless, and the Bruins goaltender effectively broke down the Blueshirts in a victory that the Bruins absolutely didn’t deserve.

HONORABLE MENTION: Shawn Thornton was scratched on Monday night against the Carolina Hurricanes, and – to the surprise of absolutely nobody – came back with a winning effort on Tuesday night. The B’s enforcer jump-started the offense with a rush up the right wing before snapping a top shelf shot over Henrik Lundqvist’s glove hand to open up the scoring for the Black and Gold. That means each of Thornton’s last two goals have come against the last two Vezina Trophy winners in Lundqvist and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky. The B’s Merlot Line produced four goals against the Rangers in last year’s playoff series, and produced two more tonight in a matchup that’s clearly favorable to them.

BY THE NUMBERS: 600 – the number of games for Patrice Bergeron in his NHL career that have all been played in the Black and Gold of the Bruins.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “The first two (periods), we were really playing with fire. We gave them a lot of opportunities, but then in the third we fixed that.” –Tuukka Rask to reporters after truly earning the two points in a 2-1 win.