Rask makes 32 saves, leads Bruins over Blues 3-1
BOSTON (AP) Tuukka Rask was again up to the task for the Bruins.
Rask made 32 saves and extended his personal point streak to 19 games lifting Boston to a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
”Any team will play better when you know the goaltender has your back,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”We got sick of losing.”
Rask is 17-0-2 in his last 19 starts and the Bruins improved to 15-1-4 in their last 20 games overall. David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and David Backes scored for Boston.
In a game featuring two of the top three teams in goals against average, the goalies were the story as Jake Allen made 22 of his 43 saves in the second period – including a spectacular glove stop of Krejci. Rask matched Allen by robbing Jaden Schwartz 1:45 into the third period with a glove save of his own.
”When I came off the ice, I started to feel bad for Jake, but then I was happy for him,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. ”He rose to the occasion and if he continues to play like that, the game will reward him.”
With the goalie pulled, Schwartz gave the Bruins a scare when he extended his scoring streak to five games and cut the lead to 2-1 with 1:32 remaining.
Backes scored an empty-netter against his old team with 1 second left to end it.
”Felt like I was on the cusp a few times tonight and my eyes were getting larger as I tried to beat the clock,” Backes said. ”Most complete game I feel we have played.”
Krejci’s goal was a controversial one at 12:32 of the first. He slipped the puck past a distracted Allen, who had collided with two Bruins players after making the initial save on Ryan Spooner. The Blues challenged by claiming goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld.
”You never know the way those challenges are going to go,” Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said.
Bergeron added an insurance goal on the power play when he one-timed David Pastrnak’s pass to beat Allen over the shoulder for a 2-0 Bruins lead at 9:05 of the third.
The Blues had previously won three straight and five of six.
NOTES: Kevan Miller left in the second period with an upper-body injury. … Spooner had two assists for the Bruins. … Boston scored first for the first time in nine games. … Allen was undefeated in four career starts against Boston and started for the first time in seven games. … Brad Marchand served the third game of his five-game suspension. … St. Louis is 3-5-1 in its last nine road games.
Blues: at Buffalo on Saturday.
Bruins: host Tampa Bay on Saturday.