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The last time Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask shut out an NHL team, the Bruins were riding the hottest goaltender in the NHL (Tim Thomas) on their way to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Rask, in his only game all last season, shut out the New York Rangers 1-0 and finshed with 35 saves. GM Peter Chiarelli never forgot the performance, and let backup Manny Fernandez go to allow his goaltender of the future more real playing time. On Saturday afternoon, Rask took advantage of the opportunity.
Rask and a lockdown Bruins defense shut down the Oilers, giving the young goalie his second career shutout and first this season. He turned away all 19 shots he faced in a 2-0 win for the B’s, with the shot-total a credit to a tight Bruins defense that disrupted anything the Oilers could put together offensively.
The defense was in full force in the final half of the third period. With a 2-0 lead, the Bruins turned away two Oiler power plays over the final 10 minutes. Now, that’s what I call a penalty kill.
For a while, it seemed the Bruins weren’t going to break down the Bulin Wall (Nikolai Khabibulin). Right at the end of the second period, the Bruins had numerous chances. Finally, Vladimir Sabotka scored, but it was moments after the buzzer, and the game was still tied.
Sabotka would not be denied, however. In the third period, he assited on Blake Wheeler’s goal three minutes into the third. Later in the period, Sabotka finally broke through, scoring his first goal of the season to give the Bruins the pivotal two-goal lead. Daniel Paille, who was recently acquired from the Sabres, assisted on both goals.