Tuukka Rask knows Bruins still seeking urgency: 'I don't think this is a great win for us, but we'll take it'

Mike Petraglia
April 01, 2015 - 5:25 am
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To Tuukka Rask, the glass Tuesday night was half full. He and his teammates sleepwalked through the second period as they have in many underachieving games this season and fell behind a desperate Panthers team smelling the chance to get back in the hunt for the final wild card spot in the East. Then the Bruins woke up in the third, getting a fortunate goal from a very bad angle from Ryan Spooner and an admittedly lucky goal from Milan Lucic to escape with a hard-fought 3-2 win at TD Garden. "Well, kind of frustrating," said Rask, who allowed a weak five-hole goal of his own in the second period to former Bruin Brad Boyes that put the Panthers up 2-1. "Again, just wondering what'€™s going on there. There'€™s no emotion, and we needed to find it. We did, and a 40-minute game today got us the win, but obviously there'€™s wins that feel great and there'€™s wins you take and you feel good. I don'€™t think this is a great win for us, but we'€™ll take it for sure." When Milan Lucic scored with 69 seconds left in regulation, it turned out to be a crucial two points, as the B's put themselves six points ahead of the Panthers and remained three points clear of the Senators in the race for the eighth and final spot. From the get-go Tuesday, the Bruins appeared ready to show they were up to the task against a Florida team fighting to stay alive. "First period was good," Rask said. "They never really got anything great going there, but we were just so flat that it was kind of one of those games where something bad is about to happen and it did, and thank goodness it didn't end up costing us. We showed in the third period, when we play like that it looks good and it'€™s going to benefit us. So just have to figure out and keep that going for 60 minutes." In the second period Rask faced only seven shots but allowed two to beat him. One was a right-point cannon from Brandon Pirri just eight seconds into a Panthers power play. The goal 55 seconds into the second gave the Panthers new life and put the Bruins back on their heels. That's where Rask appeared to be when he allowed Boyes to beat him 11 minutes later. "I just wasn't ready enough for that shot," Rask said. "He was so far out that I was looking for options there, I wasn't ready for it. When I'€™m not ready for it -- you know, it just caught me off guard." While the emotional edge was clearly absent in the second period, the second intermission wasn't filled with rah-rah speeches but rather reminders of what the Bruins need to do to get back to their style of winning hockey. "Nothing too crazy. We just realized that it'€™s not working and get those emotions going," Rask said. "It was just about the emotions and trying to find that edge because when we play with that edge that'€™s what keeps us going the right way. "That is the edge that we have to play with. It'€™s always been there for us and it'€™s always been good for us because when we do that it kind of puts the other team on their heels and when you'€™re battling in front of that net, that'€™s probably the biggest or the most important part in the defensive zone and those guys have done a great job of keeping the forwards away from there and taking their sticks and time away." With Ottawa coming from behind to beat the Red Wings in a shootout, the Senators kept pace in terms of points with the Bruins, with Ottawa retaining a game in hand on Boston. The Bruins have five games left while Ottawa has six. Tuesday's win also brought the Bruins to within two points of Detroit for third place in the Atlantic, which would elevate them from the wild card pool. "We try not to look at the standings too much because we have a job to do here and we still have five games left and they'€™re important games," Rask said. "We'€™re trying to focus on our game, and once the season is over we'€™ll look at the standings and see where we stand."