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Tuukka Rask: ‘It was definitely a grind’

Posted By Mike Petraglia On June 6, 2013 @ 2:53 am In General | 1 Comment

Of all the great performances Tuukka Rask [1] has had in these 2013 playoffs, Wednesday night was certainly the most grueling.

He stopped 53 shots in 95 minutes and 19 seconds, allowing only a Chris Kunitz goal in the second period as the Bruins prevailed, 2-1, in double-overtime in Game 3 of the Eastern finals at TD Garden.

“Yeah, it was definitely a grind,” Rask said. “Both teams played pretty good. That second period was the worst one for us, but we battled and going into double overtime it’€™s anybody’€™s game.

“It’€™s five periods. So I imagine everybody gets tired. It’€™s more of a mental challenge I think. I wasn’€™t cramping up today or anything. So that was positive.”

Is he wiped out?

“Yeah, a little bit. I mean, it’€™s I don’€™t know 12:30 or something, five periods of hockey. Not the freshest feeling, but I think the win makes it a little easier,” he said with a smile. “I don’€™t think you feel that physical fatigue-ness at that point. It’€™s just trying to keep your head, and not thinking that you’€™re tired. It’€™s just a nice little challenge ‘€“ you know if you think you’€™re tired you’€™re tired, and if you don’€™t you don’€™t.”

Tired or not, the numbers don’t lie. Rask is putting up even better stats to this point of the playoffs than Tim Thomas [2] – the Conn Smythe winner – did in 2011 on the way to the Cup.

Thomas was 11-4 through 15 games with a goals against of 2.28. He had two shutouts, facing 521 shots with a save percentage of .931. Rask is also 11-4 through 15 games, with a 1.85 goals against, one shutout, facing 501 shots and a .940 save percentage.

“I feel good. I mean, I don’€™t feel any better than I’€™ve felt throughout the playoffs,” Rask said. “I think our team is helping me out a lot. Although obviously you let in two goals in three games you’€™re making some good saves too. But we’€™re blocking shots and taking care of those rebounds pretty well. So they’€™re helping my job a lot.”

Rask made several big saves and was helped out by a pair of posts, including a shot by Sidney Crosby [3] in the first period. But the biggest save may have come from Gregory Campbell [4], who blocked a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin in the second period during a Penguins [5] power play.

“I saw it, yeah. A guy had a lane and he sacrificed his body,” Rask said. “It was a great thing, just bad thing he got hurt. He blocks a lot of shots, he took one for the team there, and we really wanted to win this for him.”


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URLs in this post:

[1] Tuukka Rask: http://media.weei.com/hockey/tuukka-rask.htm

[2] Tim Thomas: http://media.weei.com/hockey/tim-thomas.htm

[3] Sidney Crosby: http://media.weei.com/hockey/sidney-crosby.htm

[4] Gregory Campbell: http://media.weei.com/hockey/gregory-campbell.htm

[5] Penguins: http://media.weei.com/hockey/pittsburgh-penguins.htm

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