The Boston Bruins knew going into Tuesday night that they would be facing a desperate Hurricanes team. Up 2-0 in the series, Boston had to be ready. And if it weren’t for the outstanding performance by goaltender Tuukka Rask, things could’ve been a lot different.
CALM BEFORE THE STORM
The ‘Canes were coming off a perfect 5-0 winning streak at home in the playoffs, and were looking to make a huge push from the get go. From the drop of the puck Carolina was all over Boston, as they drew the first penalty 55 seconds into the first. In the first of many penalties of the period, Rask mimicked a brick wall and shut down every Carolina shot. As more Black and Gold jerseys sat in the box (at one point they were down two players), Rask kept things alive. Boston was able to keep the Hurricanes scoreless in the first, with Carolina out-shooting the Bruins 20-6.
RASK KEEPING IT IN
In the second period, the Bruins quickly found their legs as Chris Wagner opened up the scoring. And within a few moments Brad Marchand tallied one of his own, giving Boston a 2-0 lead. Carolina did not rest however, as they continued to shoot point-blank at Rask as their frustration continued to build. Rask kept the night rolling, allowing only one shot to get past him. A potential goal in the third by the Bruins would’ve seen the score 3-1, however after review by the officials, it was taken off the board due to goaltender interference.
The Boston Bruins are now up 3-0 in the series and have a chance this Thursday to sweep the Hurricanes to advance into the Stanley Cup Finals. With the emerging success of the fourth line, and the continued tremendous play by Tuukka Rask, the Bruins are this close to achieving that goal. Boston’s Head Coach Bruce Cassidy offered some insight about Rask’s performance last night:
“I think he was our best penalty killer for stretches there. What it does for the team, obviously, is it allows you to take a deep breath knowing you go into the first period intermission haven’t played our best, but it’s 0-0.”Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy
Rask made 35 saves last night, and now boasts the second best goals-against-average in the post-season at 1.69. His save percentage is .939, and he leads the league with 11 wins.
“Being in the zone, nobody knows what that means. The way I usually want to play, I want to play calm and make myself look big and maybe even tough chances, try to make it look easy. If that’s in the zone then so be it. I just try to be focused and give us a chance.”Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask
As the Bruins gear up to face an even more desperate Hurricanes team on Thursday, there may be a possibility that Chris Wagner will be out. Late in the third period, he blocked a slap shot by Justin Faulk with his wrist. In obvious pain, Wagner was seen going down the tunnel. David Krejci played his 100th career playoff game, hitting a personal milestone.
NEXT GAME: Boston Bruins at Carolina Thursday May 14th.
WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN with puck drop at 8:00 PM