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Tuukka Was Up to the Task

Rask has his first NHL shutout in his first NHL game of 2008-09

Saturday, 01.31.2009 / 4:31 PM ET / Features
By Angela Stefano  - BostonBruins.com
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Tuukka Was Up to the Task
Boston, MA – The Providence Bruins starting netminder, Tuukka Rask, continues to tease the Hub of Hockey with his fine play for the Boston Bruins. It seems whenever the tall, skinny kid from Finland gets a chance to shine, he takes advantage of the moment.

"I mean last year, his first game he played against Toronto, I was watching from up top, and he was sick,” said Shawn Thornton. “I don't want to say he single-handedly won us that game, but he was a big factor that's for sure.”

This afternoon was no different, with a 1-0, 35-save shutout against the New York Rangers, and Thornton did not sound surprised.

"We've all seen what Tuukka can bring," said Thornton. "He brought it in training camp. He brought it last year, and when he is up, he's a very gifted goalie, so we had a lot of confidence going into the game with him.”

Marc Savard, who scored the one-and-only goal in the game wasn’t surprised, either. Like Thornton, Savard noted Boston’s goaltending depth as a consistent, positive factor this season.

"We're confident with whoever's in there, and tonight it was Tuukka,” said Savard of Rask's first NHL shutout. “Give the kid credit; he's been waiting for this opportunity, and he took advantage of it tonight.

“He's an NHL goaltender, and we all know that.  He's going to get his time, but right now, he came in and did the job for us.”

Aaron Ward has played in front of a lot of goalies, and even he, as a veteran NHL defenseman, sounded very confident about the 21-year old goaltending phenom.

"We saw him last year, and we know he's capable,” said Ward. “Obviously, it's a new environment for him – it's a few different faces – so he stepped up and really, now we've got three great goalies.

“That's a good feeling to have.”

From afar, Ward gave the youngster some advice for his next start.

"He didn't come out and play soccer today,” said the defenseman. “He's got to relax and come out and play soccer before the game; it's usually his routine.  There's no reason for him to be nervous.

“He's skilled, he's…very calm out there, he doesn't seem to get too high, too low.  He's a guy that knows the game and plays it well.”

Bruins head coach Claude Julien knows what he has in Rask.

“I thought he was very good,” he said. “I thought our team did a pretty good job in front of him, and sometimes that’s a normal situation; you want to give him the best chance possible, but when he had to make the big saves, he made them.

“Obviously he’s played some games for us, so we know that he’s capable of playing, coming in and giving us some good games here.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
3 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
4 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
7 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
8 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 53 19 26 7 45
L. Eriksson 53 16 24 10 40
D. Krejci 43 12 27 1 39
R. Spooner 53 11 27 -8 38
B. Marchand 48 25 12 11 37
Z. Chara 51 7 21 7 28
M. Beleskey 51 8 18 8 26
T. Krug 52 3 21 2 24
J. Hayes 51 11 12 -8 23
B. Connolly 50 7 9 -6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 19 16 5 .916 2.56
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .911 2.58
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