Boston Bruins: Rask’s lackluster effort leads to OT loss

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 07: Evgeni Malkin
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 07: Evgeni Malkin /

The Boston Bruins extended their point streak, but they could have had more if their goaltender had performed up to par on the road.

The Boston Bruins were riding a three-game winning streak going into Sunday night. Sadly, it was cut short after losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5 in overtime.

The game started well for the Bruins as Ryan Spooner was able to nab the first goal of the game. He took advantage of a juicy rebound in front of Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. It was Spooner’s 4th goal of the season. Then Tuukka Rask proceeded to give up three straight goals.

The first goal was a blast from the point. Noel Acciari was trying to block the shot but there was no one else in front of Rask. It definitely was a rocket but you would like to see Rask make the save. The second goal wasn’t as damning due to it being on the penalty kill as well as there being some traffic in front of Rask.

The third goal though was the same as the first. Kris Letang launched a shot from the blue line and Rask had a perfect view of the puck. NHL defensemen have some hard shots, but once again Tuukka could have made the save. He has before, but something wasn’t clicking on Sunday night.

Bruins mount comeback in 2nd period

In the second period, everything was working for the Bruins. Just past the halfway point of the period Brad Marchand scored his 17th goal of the season. After Patrice Bergeron won the faceoff the puck landed straight on Marchand’s stick and unleashed a beautiful wrist shot that went by Jarry.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JANUARY 07: Matt Murray /

Then just a minute later Noel Acciari was able to deflect a puck into the net to tie the game for the Bruins. Brandon Carlo blasted a shot from the blue line and the puck went off Acciari’s chest and into the net. Acciari now has six goals on the season. A few minutes after that David Pastrnak scored his 17th goal of the season to give the Bruins the lead. After going behind the net “Pasta” roofed a shot short side past Jarry.

The Bruins scoring continued when David Backes extend the lead to two goals. The shot came from a weird angle close to the boards, but somehow it went in. It was Backes’s 8th goal of the season.

From the looks of it, the Bruins were about to get their fourth straight win. Then with the Bruins on the penalty kill Evgeni Malkin put one past Rask. The second period was winding down and it appeared the Bruins checked out because they left Malkin all alone in front of the net. No blame goes on Rask this time. It was just a breakdown and lack of focus by the Bruins.

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Then shortly after the third period started the Bruins were now in a tie game as Riley Sheahan scored for the Penguins. Rask once again should have made the save. It was a short-side goal, one that Rask gave up too much room and Sheahan took advantage.

The conclusion to the back and forth game came in overtime as Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel had a beautiful give and go and Malkin ended the Bruins hopes for victory with his second goal of the game.  It was a great play and one that would have taken a spectacular save from Rask to stop.

Rask returns to Earth

This was a rough game overall for Tuukka. He only stopped 29 0f the 35 shots he faced. If Rask was able to make some easy saves the Boston Bruins may have been able to win the game. Still, Rask has not lost a game in regulation since November 26th, a feat that shouldn’t be scoffed at.

The Bruins had a chance to win the game late in the third period when Brad Marchand was given a penalty shot. The skilled winger looked to give the Bruins the lead and most likely the victory but was stopped by Matt Murray.

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The Bruins have a long time to think about the mistakes they made as their next game is on Saturday versus the Montreal Canadiens.