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Khudobin Near Perfect in Bruins Debut

No. 35 turns away 44 shots in 3-1 victory

Thursday, 04.5.2012 / 11:18 PM ET / Features
By Anthony Gulizia  - BostonBruins.com
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Khudobin Near Perfect in Bruins Debut
BostonBruins.com Anton Khudobin hasn’t seen NHL action in over year, but he looked as if he hadn’t missed a beat when he started in net for the Boston Bruins Thursday night.

Khudobin made 44 saves to lift his team to a 3-1 victory over the Senators, while the Bruins played without Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas and Patrice Bergeron, who were all healthy scratches.

Recent call-up Lane MacDermid was also a healthy scratch, while Johnny Boychuk missed the game due to a knee sprain.

“There’s no doubt he was our best player tonight and it was nice to see that,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said about Khudobin. “He’s been playing pretty well all year in Providence…Tonight was just proof he’s a good goaltender and it’s very deserving of him to get the accolades because if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if the score might’ve been different.”

Naturally, Khudobin experienced butterflies before his first start with the Bruins, but after the first few shots, he said he settled in.

Ottawa peppered the B’s goaltender throughout the evening, but he held his ground albeit a goal from Jason Spezza – which squirted through a screen in front of Khudobin.

“[Ottawa had] good, smart shots,” Khudobin said. “They know where to put the puck and shot through the guys, through the legs [and you have to] try to figure it out where [the shots] come from.

“The first one, I saw the shot. It was a little deflection in front, that’s why it hit the post. But then Marty [Turco] said it hit my pad I think and went to the net.”

Khudobin’s performance in net was certainly impressive on the stat sheet, but the potential long-term benefits are promising.

With Turco ineligible to play in the playoffs, and goaltender Tuukka Rask still out, Julien is confident that Khudobin could serve as a good backup in the playoffs.

“There’s an opportunity he may have to start with us in the playoffs,” Julien said. “We don’t know whether Tukkaa will be ready or not, and to give that performance is certainly encouraging for us and the whole team.”

And if Khudobin is called upon beyond the regular season, he said he’s prepared to do so.

“Playoffs is different hockey,” Khudobin said. “But at the same time, I got a little shots, I got a little experience – a little feeling for the NHL so if [the Bruins] need me, I’ll be ready to go.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
2 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
3 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
4 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
5 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
6 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
7 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
8 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 73 21 31 2 52
L. Eriksson 73 19 23 0 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
M. Lucic 73 15 25 10 40
B. Marchand 69 22 17 6 39
C. Soderberg 74 11 27 8 38
R. Smith 73 12 25 8 37
T. Krug 70 12 23 12 35
D. Krejci 39 7 21 7 28
C. Kelly 72 7 20 8 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .919 2.30
T. Rask 29 19 12 .921 2.34
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