Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask undoubtedly earned the victory that put him in sole possession of the No. 1 spot on the franchise’s all-time wins list Sunday, stopping all 24 shots thrown his way in a 1-0 road final over the Capitals.
Even if he looked at the record, which sees his 253 victories in a B’s sweater now one above Tiny Thompson, as nothing all too spectacular in his postgame meeting with the media.
“I enjoy it,” Rask said after the win, which snapped a three-game losing skid for the Black and Gold. “It doesn’t change anything in my mind during the season or even after the season. Your name is in the history books, that’s about it.
“Some day somebody else is going to come and break it. Hopefully I can put up a couple more, get some cushion.”
Rask’s coach, meanwhile, had a different take on Rask’s performance.
After all, it did end what was a 14-game losing streak against the Capitals dating back to Mar. 2014.
“It’s a testament to his ability to play every night,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Rask’s record. “We’re happy for him. He’s done a great job for the Bruins organization for years and his performance tonight was excellent. He was in control all night. We were pretty clean in front of him there until the end and when we weren’t he was there for us. Happy for him and I think the guys in the room are as well and hopefully he keeps building on it.”
And after what was a scathing (relatively speaking) callout of his team’s defense following Thursday’s loss to the Flyers, Cassidy was certainly pleased with the way his defense responded to the challenge of an always-tough Caps group.
“They responded very well,” Cassidy acknowledged. “It’s a character group in there. Listen, they recognize that giving up odd man rushes late in periods and a goal after you score is just a mental thing you have to tighten up. They’ve been around a long time, they knew that too.
“It takes 60 minutes.”
And everybody on the roster.
“Total effort,” Torey Krug said. “It starts with the forwards. Having a good F3 high allows our D to have good gaps and we can trust them. All of a sudden, we’re shutting down plays. All that aside, [Zdeno Chara] led the way. He did an unbelievable job and Tuukks stood tall and made a lot of great saves. It was a total team effort.”
The Bruins will try to keep it rolling with a Tuesday night visit from the New York Islanders.