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Tuukka Rask and Craig Anderson reignite goaltending duel in Game 4, but Sens still win

04.19.17 at 10:13 pm ET
Tuukka Rask and Craig Anderson returned to form in Game 4. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Tuukka Rask and Craig Anderson returned to form in Game 4. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

At one point in the second period of Wednesday’s Game 4 between the Bruins and Senators, a rogue beachball landed on the ice during play. If this were either Game 2 or Game 3, there’s a good chance that the beachball would have gone through one of the goalies in this game.

But not on Wednesday, as Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask and Sens goaltender Craig Anderson both brought their best back to the rink.

Both Rask and Anderson were incredible in the opening game, which ended as a 2-1 final for the Black and Gold, but have since seen their play dip in what was back-to-back seven-goal contests, both of which have been 4-3 overtime finals in favor of the Senators. As a result of those games, Rask came into tonight’s game with nine goals allowed and an .898 save percentage for the series while Anderson had eight goals allowed and an .892 save percentage. Both goalies are much better than that, and they showed that in a 1-0 duel of a Game 4.

In what was a 26-shot opening period of play, with 14 shots for the Sens and 12 for the Bruins, Anderson stepped up the plate first with an opening game stop on a Brad Marchand breakaway. Rask, however, matched that when he flashed his glove and stoned Erik Karlsson on a ridiculous breakaway opportunity. Anderson came up with one last stop on Marchand, however, this time flying out of his crease to chip Marchand’s partial breakaway bid out of danger, and the teams skated to a 0-0 draw through 20.

The second period brought little from both sides — even with a few power plays between the teams — and for the first time in this series, neither the B’s or Sens came through with a middle frame goal, and on the teams marched to a 0-0 stalemate.

But not before the Bruins had another goal disallowed, as a successful coach’s challenge from Sens bench boss Guy Boucher determined that Noel Acciari was offside 20 seconds before Charlie McAvoy scored what would have been his first career goal.

As the pace and desperation returned in the middle frame, it was Rask that made the first big stop of the period, as he kicked his skate out just far enough to stop Derick Brassard on a drive towards the side of his net. But when chaos returned to the B’s crease just moments later, and as Bobby Ryan gained inside positioning on McAvoy, it was the Senators that struck first for the third time in four games thus far, with Ryan’s puck trickling in just above a sprawled Rask and outstretched Zdeno Chara.

Rask put his hands to his face as he laid on his belly outside his crease. As if he knew that it would be all the Senators needed.

He wasn’t wrong.

The Bruins countered Ryan’s goal with over 10 minutes of five-on-five play without a shot on goal before they were whistled for a too many men penalty. They killed it, with the help of one great Rask save on Kyle Turris, and it was Rask to the bench.

With the extra attacker and two offensive zone faceoffs, the Bruins had their chances, including the best from Marchand, but Anderson once again came up for another stop, his 21st of the night, and added another for a 22-save shutout.

Now down in the series 3-1, the Bruins will look to stave off elimination on Friday night in Ottawa.

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