(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rask Makes 32 Saves In Bruins 3-1 Win Over Blues

The Boston Bruins hold off a late third period push by the St. Louis Blues to win 3-1 at the TD Garden on “Hockey is for Everyone” night.

Entering tonight’s game, the Bruins are 14-1-4 over their last 19 games and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games.

Tuukka Rask got the starting nod in the net tonight with his 16-0-2 record over his last 18 starts and he surely didn’t disappoint.

Earlier in the day, we learned from Joe Haggerty that Anders Bjork would be out of the lineup tonight and the rest of weekend while he deals with an upper body injury.

So with Bjork out, Peter Cehlarik took over at left wing on the third line with David Backes and Riley Nash. Danton Heinen remained on the first line with Brad Marchand out still serving his five-game suspension.

Almost halfway through the first, Ryan Spooner dished it over to Jake DeBrusk, who put a shot on net while getting taken out by a Blues’ defenseman and eventually sliding across the surface into goalie Jake Allen.

While Allen made the initial save on DeBrusk, then a second on Spooner, but as they say, “third time’s a charm.” And it was David Krejci, who eventually put the puck in the back of the net for his ninth of the season.

Following Krejci’s goal, the Blues thought it was a good idea to challenge the call on the ice. The goal was eventually up-held by the officials because there was no “goalie interference” like the Blues were hoping for.

At the end of a clean first period, the Bruins held a 1-0 lead over the Blues. And they were out-shooting the Blues 14-to-9 and had blocked six shots at this point.

The second period was a reminder that blue collar, physical hockey is still a thing in the league. It was filled with plenty of strong stick work and grinding along the boards by both teams. The Bruins had plenty of chances to pad the lead, but they just couldn’t finish or put away the juicy rebounds. Just alone in the second, the Bruins put 22 shots on net compared to the Blues’ six.

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It wasn’t until there was 11:17 to play in the game, that the first penalty was called when Vladimir Tarasenko was called for hooking against Torey Krug.

Shortly after the call, Patrice Bergeron netted a one-timer from David Pastrnak to put the Bruins up 2-0 with 10:53 to play in the game.

Things started to get a little testy following the Bruins’ power play goal. With more than 10 minutes to play in the third, Bruins forward Tim Schaller and Blues defenseman Vince Dunn got into a good ole fashion shoving match after the whistle, because he apparently didn’t like how the Bruins crashed the net.

You knew things were getting real once Zdeno Chara eventually came over to lay down the law and finish things off.

Jaden Schwartz brought the Blues within one with less than a minute and a half to play, after sniping one from the far post on a wide open look with the extra attacker after pulling Allen.

Timing is everything for Backes. With .4 seconds left in the game, he put away an empty netter against his former team to give the Bruins a 3-1 win.

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller wasn’t out with the team for the third period for reasons unknown.

The Bruins set a season-high in shots with 46, while Rask made 32 saves of his own.

Krejci now has eight points in his last nine games. And Bergeron has 10 points in his last seven games.

Prior to tonight's game, Bergeron was named the NHL's second star of the month for January!

UP NEXT: The Bruins (30-11-8) welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs (30-18-5) to the TD Garden Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Catch the call of the game with Judd Sirott and Bob Beers live on 98.5 The Sports Hub with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.

--  By John 'The Dude' Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com

John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at [email protected].