If there were any “terrible” turnovers that Tuukka Rask observed through his goalie mask in the first period, he had no time to ponder them.
Boston’s netminder was too busy stopping pucks.
The Bruins were thankful for Rask that they trailed the Blackhawks only 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on Saturday night.
Rask made 18 saves, as the Blackhawks outshot the Bruins by a hefty 19-4 advantage. Both Patrick Sharp (6) and Marian Hossa (5) had more shots on goal than the visitors combined.
Rask was busier with his left glove than a middle infielder, repeatedly snaring shots, including Nick Leddy’s blast from the left faceoff circle.
“I thought the first period, we just weren’t there,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “We were on our heels. They had total control of that period. Tuukka kept us in there.”
Only Sharp solved Rask, who criticized teammate Torey Krug for a “terrible” turnover that led to Dave Bolland’s momentum-changing third-period goal in Game 1. Rask made a career-high 59 saves in the Blackhawks’ triple-overtime win.
Rask stopped 33 shots in Boston’s 2-1 OT victory Saturday night.
“He’s a great goalie,” Sharp said. “He’s played well all season. He’s just like every other goalie, though. From a shooter’s standpoint, you want to make sure he doesn’t see the puck. You want to score on those second, third and fourth opportunities. We’re going to have to that to beat him.”
Sharp chased down a loose puck in the right faceoff circle after a flurry in front of the Boston net. The winger then spun and fired a shot that eluded traffic and Rask, finding the back of the net at the 11:22 mark. Patrick Kane’s slick maneuver around a defender and flick shot toward Rask created the havoc. Kane and Michal Handzus assisted on Sharp’s team-leading ninth goal of the playoffs.
“He battles in there,” Sharp said of Rask. “Even the goal we scored, he just about had it, and we had four guys in the crease. Those are the types of goals we have to score to be successful.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.