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Talking Points: Rusty Rask, Boston Bruins Fall Flat

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Boston Bruins

BOSTON — Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at TD Garden on Monday night to close out a largely successful homestand for the Black and Gold.

GOLD STAR: It was very nearly two goals for Ryan Getzlaf, who still would be a tremendous trade deadline addition for a playoff team, like the Boston Bruins looking for a rent-a-center, if Anaheim falls out of a playoff race, they are currently flirting with. The two-goal performance would have matched the number of goals he’d scored all season for the Ducks and showed that he’s still got a little something left in the tank at 36 years old. The first goal was a sizzling power play blast from the top of the circle that rocketed through Tuukka Rask, and it was eventually changed to Derek Grant redirecting the puck in front of the net. The second one was all Getzlaf, though, as he threw a quick dangle around David Pastrnak before throwing it top corner over Rask once again. Getzlaf finished with a goal and two points, three shot attempts and three hits in 20:02 of ice time in a throwback performance for the Anaheim captain.

BLACK EYE: Does the fact that a brief “We Want Swayman” chant erupted during the game tell the story? There were plenty of issues with the entire team not playing the kind of sound, smart and solid game that’s typified their winning streak, of course, but Tuukka Rask also gave up five goals on 27 shots including a couple of goals that he probably should have stopped. Rask now has allowed 12 goals on 62 shots in his last three games for an .806 save percentage while slowly attempting to knock the rust off his game. It’s clear that he wasn’t anywhere close to game ready when he signed, and it becomes a tough task for the Bruins to give him enough time to get up to speed while also worrying about wins and losses. It essentially looked like Rask was down in the butterfly for most of the game while Anaheim was shooting top corner rockets past him, but the worst goal allowed was a shorthanded rush where Isac Lundestrom simply pushed a puck through his leg pads to make it 2-0 at the start of the second period. On the bright side, at least the Bruins didn’t get burned by the “Michigan” play.

TURNING POINT: After a very poor first period where the Bruins trailed 1-0 and were outshot by an 11-5 margin, things began looking up in the second period when a Trevor Zegras slashing call put the Bruins on the power play. But instead of tying things up and really making a push, Nick Foligno fell down carrying the puck through the neutral zone and Isac Lundestrom picking it up and carried David Pastrnak on his back during a shorthanded rush. Tuukka Rask couldn’t make the stop on a five-hole goal and the Ducks were up 2-0 with the two-goal lead that would eventually be the difference on the scoreboard once the Bruins finally got their game in gear.

HONORABLE MENTION: Give it to Erik Haula, who managed to be one of the few Boston Bruins players in a positive plus/minus spot after the game was over. Haula scored a late third period goal off a sweet no-look pass from Mike Reilly out of the corner and did a decent job of playing the role that Boston is looking for out of him between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. Haula finished with the goal, two shot attempts, two hits and a takeaway in his 12:18 of ice time and acquitted himself well in just about every area except for the face-off circle. Hall and Pastrnak scored as well, but those two wingers had some defensive issues during the game where they were perhaps leaning a little too much offensively against a Ducks team that was ready to give Boston a game.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the number of blocked shots for Kevin Shattenkirk, who also had four hits in a very gritty game for a Ducks defenseman known more for his offense in 25:44 of ice time.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Right now, he’s not where he needs to be. That was evident. He needs to sort through it.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on Tuukka Rask, who he said the Bruins may need seven or eight starts from before they can really evaluate his performance.

 

 

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