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Rask gets first SO of season

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Rask gets first shutout of season to help Bruins defeat Sabres

Makes 32 saves in Boston's fifth straight victory

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
 April 20, 2021

BUFFALO -- Tuukka Rask made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season, and the Boston Bruins won their fifth straight game, 2-0 against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.


"[Feeling] well, good enough to play," said Rask, who played his third game after missing 11 with an upper-body injury. "It's maintaining the strength and the health as much as possible and giving it rest when need be and not pushing it too much. Hopefully I'll be able to play still a long, many, many more months ahead. But I'm feeling good, it doesn't bother me playing, so that's a plus."


Brad Marchand and Connor Clifton scored for the Bruins (26-12-6), who are fourth in the eight-team MassMutual East Division, six points ahead of the fifth-place New York Rangers. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Dustin Tokarski, in his fifth straight start, made 39 saves for the Sabres (12-27-7).


"We got ourselves in trouble early, probably puck management, and chased the game," Buffalo coach Don Granato said. "We chased the game. Rask was good when he had to be, but we didn't set the pace. They set the pace. And again with the challenge in puck management to keep it simple. We exerted a lot of energy."


d opens up the scoring


  • 00:41 • April 20th, 2021

Marchand gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead when he got to a rebound at the side of the net and scored with a backhand at 8:06 of the first period.

Dylan Cozens had a chance to tie it for Sabres on the power play from the bottom of the right face-off circle with an open net, but Rask reached out to get a piece of the shot with his glove at 13:22.


"It's just half skill, half luck, I guess," Rask said. "It's kind of desperation more than that at that point when you can't push over to that side, so you just throw anything at the puck you can and hopefully it hits you and today it did."


Clifton made it 2-0 at 3:03 of the second period when his shot trickled through Tokarski's pads and went in off the goalie's skate.

In the third period, Buffalo had 17 shots and drew four penalties.


"I didn't like our third period at all," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "I thought we lost our discipline, a lot of chances, we relied on our goaltender, weren't hard. I didn't think we played very well and I didn't they were great early on. Just thought it was two teams that looked like they've played a lot of hockey recently and execution was off. We got some huge saves from Tuukka obviously tonight."


ots trickles in


  • 00:44 • April 20th, 2021

The Sabres were 0-for-6 on the power play; the Bruins were 0-for-4. 


The teams play again here Thursday and Friday.


"I'm glad we play them again because we get a chance to look in the mirror, look at the video, speak of this game, and measure ourselves again against a great hockey team and a team that is fighting for every point," Granato said.


"There's no easy game for us. We've spoken that, spoken about that plenty of times, and the next game will not be any easier. … We're trying to advance and improve our team individually, our players individually, our team collectively, you want to get opposition like this. You learn a lot about yourself. Clearly, we need to elevate based on what we went through today."


NOTES: Marchand scored his 11th goal since April 1, the most in the NHL in that span. He has scored 24 goals in 42 games this season

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