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Game Day: Bruins @ Rangers

Original Six rivals Boston and New York renew acquaintances in MSG.

Sunday, 11.01.2009 / 9:21 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Game Day: Bruins @ Rangers
12:40 p.m.
I'm heading over to the live blog. Click here to join the discussion.

12:38 p.m.
The Bruins lines...
Sturm-Krejci-Recchi
Marchand-Bergeron-Ryder
Begin-Whitfield-Thornton
Paille-Sobotka-Wheeler
Chara-Morris
Wideman-Hunwick
Ference-Stuart
Thomas
Rask

12:32 p.m.
A busy hour or so here in MSG. Claude Julien announced that Byron Bitz is out today with a groin pul and that Trent Whitfield will play in his stead.

Tim Thomas will face Steve Valiquette Lundqvist in goal.

10:44 a.m.
The Bruins bus is set to leave the hotel any minute. But oftentimes the Bruins will have several members of the team here much earlier than the "official" bus.

I just "tweeted" a picture of Big Zee over at Twitter.com/NHLBruins, so if you haven't signed up to get our feed, now would be great time to start!

10:26 a.m.
The Ramp
Just walked down 34th street to Madison Square Garden. We've walked up "The Ramp" five stories from ground level to the rink.

I get the impression that this ramp is famous -- or infamous -- just because of the sheer numbers of entertainers, athletes and dignitaries whose organizations have to traverse the thing to get to the floor of MSG.

You'd never believe it, but I actually made it up "The Ramp" without taking a break.

Rumor (or is it rumour) has it that there is at least one Tim Horton's nearby, but frankly I am a little afraid of walking off and never being heard from again, so press room coffee will have to suffice.

9:21 a.m.

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is pretty straightforward and when the press caught up with him on Saturday afternoon, he did not shy away from giving his opinion.

"I think that was the best game of the year for us," said the rookie goalkeeper. "We were skating hard, moving the puck [and we had] a couple turnovers in the first period and the second period, but overall I think it was a good game."

Rask complimented the guys in front of him for making his afternoon successful

"I saw [the puck] really well," said Rask. "I mean, I can’t say [that there was] one shot I [couldn't] see and that’s probably more because they were their best…and forced blocking those shots on the net."

Rask earned his second NHL shutout on Saturday afternoon, as well.

"You've got to do something right [to earn a shutout]," said Julien. "Make a couple saves, but I think guys played really well and it wasn’t the hardest game for me today."

Rask's approach to the game was simple -- stop shots.

"You just got to not give him a goal," he said. "You've just got to keep your focus on the next shot and don’t let them get the momentum from you.

"We managed to do that today and that’s good."

As far as the Oilers, keeping the momentum was easier said than done.

"Well, we recognized their strengths and we respect them and tried to not give them anything," said Rask. "And I think we really did that today.

"We were skating hard and we took the space away from that first line. That was the key for the win today.

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) makes a save as Edmonton Oilers center Gilbert Brule (67) looks for the rebound with Boston defenseman Derek Morris, right, during the third period of Boston's 2-0 win in an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
"If you give them room they’re going to make the plays. We got our system and we know what we got to do and if everybody does that, that’s what it looks like," continued Tuukka. "For me, it looked like every guy was on top of their game and didn’t give them anything for free and that [was] good for us."

His coach, Claude Julien, agreed.

"I think that he has played well, especially after that game in Philadelphia," explained the B's head coach. "He deserved another start and it was a good chance to do that today.

"We feel confident with him in net. He has matured so much in the three years that I have seen him here and he is committed to doing the job well.

"As much as we minimized the number of shots, we all know that sometimes that can be even tougher for the goalie to stay in the game and concentrate. He made the saves when he had to and he made some good ones. And our guys played well in front of him," said Julien.

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