With his 28-save performance, Tuukka Rask backstopped the Boston Bruins to an all-too-pivotal Game 3 victory in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final to give them a 2-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks. While not quite as busy as his counterpart Corey Crawford, Rask was good when he had to be recording his third shutout of the postseason en route to the 2-0 win.
Following the game, Rask was quick to give credit where it was due giving his defensemen ample praise, "They're not trying to play goalie. They're just trying to get in the lane,`and the likes of Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference all chipped in determined to keep the Blackhawks off the board.
After an even first period where the Bruins narrowly outshot Chicago 11-10, the scoring opened – and the tone was set – in the second as Daniel Paille finished off a one-timer by wristing his fourth past Crawford to put the B’s out in front just 2:13 into the second. Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin helped out with the assists.
It stayed that way until just over the halfway point of the second when the B’s took advantage of a Niklas Hjalmarsson penalty as Patrice Bergeron netted his seventh of the playoffs to put the home team up by a pair. That was all the Bruins needed.
Stopping 33 of the 35 shots he faced, netminder Corey Crawford was far and away Chicago’s best player in Game 3. Unfortunately, it was not enough as the Hawks’ offensive attack will need a much better effort in Game 4 should they hope to score let alone win and send the series back to the Windy City with momentum on their side.
When asked about what Patrice Bergeron means to the Bruins, Tuukka Rask was not the least bit reticent about giving the veteran praise. "He's really patient and really good at reading the play," Rask said of his centerman.
When asked about how it felt to win a game in regulation – unlike the first two games of the series – Rask downplayed it simply saying, “It’s better I guess.”
When asked what the plan is to rebound in Game 4, Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville stated, “We gotta play patient.” En route to the win, Jaromir Jagr made a bit of history as his assist on the Bergeron goal moved him into sole possession of fifth-place on the all-time playoff points list with 197 moving him past Paul Coffey and 17 points behind fourth-place Glenn Anderson. Of course, barring an unforeseen breakout for the remainder of the series, it is safe to assume that the 41-year-old will finish his illustrious career in the fifth spot in said category.
Overall, Game 3 could not have gone any better for the Boston Bruins or the sellout crowd of 17,565 that saw the home team continue their momentum on their quest for hockey’s greatest prize.
Game 4 will be back at the TD Garden on Wednesday as the Bruins hope to continue their success and hopefully send the series back to Chicago with a chance to clinch their second Cup in three years.
But one step at a time.