For the first time since Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins hosted the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden. Behind Patrice Bergeron’s 24th and 25th goals of the season and Tuukka Rask’s league leading seventh shutout of the year, the Bruins blanked the Blackhawks 3-0. Here are some superlatives from the B's 50th win of the season.
Most likely to win the Vezina Trophy – Tuukka Rask
Thanks to his 28 save performance Thursday night, Tuukka Rask increased his chances at winning the Vezina Trophy—as the league’s best goalie—for the first time in his career. To go along with his league-high seventh shutout, Rask improved his goals-against average to 2.01 and his save percentage to .931.
Rask has been one of the best goalies this season and that showed Thursday against the Blackhawks. Chicago came out firing in the early stages of this one, firing six shots towards Rask in the opening four minutes. Rask stood tall for the Bruins, keeping the Blackhawks off the board.
Rask’s teammates agree that Rask should be the favorite for the Vezina. How can one blame them?
“It’s pretty impressive. He’s got my vote, I know I’m biased,” said forward Chris Kelly with a smile. “But like I said, he’s been our best player all year long. And the team is having success so I don’t know what else you can ask for.”
Strangest goal of the night – Patrice Bergeron
Just 13 seconds after Carl Sodeberg extended the Bruins lead to two, Bergeron found the back of the net for the second time in the game. But the funny thing is, his shot never really actually found the back of the net on his second goal of the evening.
While playing the puck behind his own net, Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford turned the puck over to Brad Marchand who then hit the tape of an open Bergeron who fired the puck towards the open net. As Crawford tried to get back in front of the net to make the save, Crawford lifted the net off the ice as the puck crossed the goal line. The puck ended up sliding under the bottom of the net and the goal was originally called no goal. But after a quick review the call was reversed and the Bruins had themselves their second goal in 13 seconds.
“Yeah, I knew it was in,” said Bergeron.
“I saw [Corey] Crawford push the net out a little bit so to me it was a good goal. Both posts didn’t move, it stayed there it was just the net that moved up a bit. So to me, it was a goal the whole time.”
Star of the night – Boston Fire Department
After each game the three stars of the night are announced over the arena’s PA system. On a night where Bergeron had two goals and Rask had 28 saves for a shutout, one would think choosing the first star of the game would be a difficult one. But on this night it was a simple choice.
After yesterday’s tragic fire in Boston that took the lives of two of Boston’s finest, selecting the Boston Fire Department as the first star of the game was an easy choice. Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy lost their lives yesterday doing what they do best, being heroes, and the Bruins honored them the best way they can.
Not only did the Bruins name the Boston Fire Department their star of the game, the Bruins sported Boston Fire Department hats during warm-ups.
“Oh that’s awesome, I didn’t know that,” said Kelly of the first star honors.
“Obviously it’s a sad, sad day when two brave men lose their lives like that. If we can do a little thing to honor them, we’re more than happy to do that. Like I said before, we’re part of this community; we feel the pain that the entire city and the state feels. That was pretty classy that they got the first star”
Quote of the night – Corey Crawford
Crawford was asked after the game how this season’s Bruins team compared to the one they defeated in the Stanley Cup Final a season ago, his answer was, well, honest.
“To be honest, I don’t really care about that team. That has nothing to do with us," he said. "We were looking to have a strong game today, and we focused on what we’re doing. So, maybe some tendencies that they do, but other than that, I don’t really care about them.”
I’m sure if you asked the Bruins, they wouldn’t care too much about Crawford either.
Whats next - The Bruins will travel to Washington for a Saturday afternoon tilt against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals for what very well could a preview of the Bruins' first round opponent.
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