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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 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
4 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
5 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
6 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
7 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
8 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 52 19 26 8 45
L. Eriksson 52 16 24 11 40
D. Krejci 42 12 27 2 39
R. Spooner 52 11 27 -5 38
B. Marchand 47 24 12 12 36
Z. Chara 50 7 20 8 27
M. Beleskey 50 8 17 10 25
T. Krug 51 3 21 6 24
J. Hayes 50 11 12 -5 23
B. Connolly 49 7 9 -5 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 19 15 5 .918 2.47
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .915 2.38
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