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Claude Julien gives Tuukka Rask green light to ‘start laughing’ about Game 4 miscue

05.26.13 at 1:30 am ET
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Tuukka Rask can really laugh now about his stumble after eliminating the Rangers in five games. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

For all the great saves Henrik Lundqvist made on the Bruins throughout Game 5 Saturday at TD Garden, the one save that will be remembered the longest is the one made by Tuukka Rask on Rangers captain Ryan Callahan on a breakaway with just over 11 minutes left in the third period.

The Bruins were clinging to a 2-1 lead as Callahan was fed on a break through the neutral zone and had a clear path toward Rask. The Bruins goalie made the save, and Boston’s lead stood up in a 3-1 win over the Rangers in the clinching Game 5.

“Well, our goalie coach [Bob Essensa] told me after, I think it was Game 1 when he scored on that breakaway, that he never goes backhand,” Rask said. “So I was banking on him shooting and keeping it on the forehand. But he went backhand, and I just extended my leg and blocker there and made the save.”

Rask had faced just 17 shots through two periods before facing 12 in the third, including Callahan’s.

“That’s just staying mentally sharp,” Rask said. “But you have to know something is going to happen, and they’re going to throw everything they could at you and going to try to get that change to tie the game. You know, today it happened to be a breakaway and I just wanted to make one or two big saves in the third and hopefully keep that lead. And today we succeeded.”

Of course, Rask big save more than made amends for the “butt stumble” from Game 4 in New York.

“Yeah, I mean, you know, you go into the third period with a 2-1 lead,” Rask said. “And as I said, as a goalie you expect to make one or two big saves, and today it happened. I didn’t feel bad about myself after Game 4, obviously there was a little screwup there with that goal. But I didn’t let that bother me, and I felt like I played a decent game after that. Coming in today I just wanted to be rock solid back there, and give our team a chance to win the game.

“We definitely didn’t want to go back to New York. We felt like we should have finished the series off last game, but we didn’t play good enough. And then coming home for Game 5 we just wanted to play a real solid game and finish things off. And it’s big to get a couple of days off and get some rest for the guys.”

Rask famously said of his “butt stumble” from Game 4 that he could either cry about it or laugh about it. He chose to laugh. After Saturday’s win, Claude Julien signed off on the humor.

“We wanted to make sure we ended this series for all the right reasons. Some of it is you don’t want that to linger on and say, ‘Because of that goal, that’s why New York’s back in the series. Now it’s 3-2.’ I think it was important for us, for all the right reasons, to end it. We wanted to move on to the next series, we’re looking to get a little bit of rest. To win this game tonight was important for all the right reasons. But also, it gives Tuukka the opportunity now to laugh about that goal instead of crying, right? I think that was pretty important, too. So that’s what I told Tuukka at the end of the game, ‘You can start laughing now.’ “

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