Snapshot: Rask Reaches Not So Tiny Milestone And It’s Back To Backes As Bruins Beat Blues 5-2

The Bruins improved to 6-1-1 in second games of a back-to-back and Tuukka Rask tied Tiny Thompson for most wins (251) in franchise history.


BOSTON – Tuukka Rask tied Tiny Thompson for the most wins by a goalie in Boston Bruins history with his 251st victory between the pipes as a Bruin; David Backes scored a game-tying goal late in the second; Zdeno Chara got in a scrap and the scrappy Bruins came back to beat the Blues 5-2 and improve to 6-1-1 in the second of back-to-back games.

Rask About To Be The Winningest Bruins Goalie Ever – One more win by Tuukka Rask and he will become the winningest goalie in the history of the Boston Bruins. Rask got No. 251 on Thursday to tie Tiny Thompson for the top spot and more importantly in the present, helped his team snap a two-game skid with a 28-save performance and improved to 6-0-1 in his last seven starts.

After the game, the humble Rask wasn’t telling his army of haters in Boston to suck it just yet – chances are, he won’t ever because he’s too classy and humble – but he was happy to become such a big part of the Bruins rich tradition and history.

I mean it’s an original six franchise, I’ve had the luxury to be here for many, many years, so obviously, it means a lot but, many more to come hopefully,” he said with a smile.

That next one will make him the best in terms of wins and unlike his critics, his teammates appreciate that.

“I’m very happy for him – everybody was,” captain Zdeno Chara said. “You know, it’s quite an accomplishment and obviously he’s not stopping now but it just shows you he’s very loyal to the organization. It’s a big number and to be up there and obviously playing as many games and years as he is, it’s nice to see.”

David is BACKes – When Bruins forward David Backes was notified he would be a healthy scratch for what ended up being a 4-3 loss to the Flyers Wednesday, he took it like a true professional and vowed to answer the call when he got back into the lineup. Backes didn’t have to wait long as forward Noel Acciari took a seat up top Thursday and Backes drew in against his former team, the St. Louis Blues. The 34-year old Backes kept his promise, tying the game on the power play at 16:00 of the second period and playing with the grit and leadership that is likely keeping him in the lineup more often than not.

After the game, Backes acknowledged how tough it was to be a healthy scratch for his first time with the Bruins and the first time in a while and was clearly happy he answered the bell Thursday.

“I mean, it’s tumultuous but it tests your character and you see how you respond to it and I think I’ve taken the right route,” Backes said. “Those types of goals that I scored tonight are what I’m used to scoring, you know, a dozen a year, and if I can get back to those places, we can get pucks to the net, and there’s a dozen of those going in and I can shoot a couple more in, you know, that’s kind of the place, I want to be. It worked tonight. Is it going to work every night? Potentially not, but if I can get to those spots, we can get pucks there, you know, the law of averages is going to work on our side eventually.”

Chara Drops The Gloves And Gets An Apple too – For some unknown reason, Blues forward Patrick Maroon thought it would be a brilliant idea to accept Chara’s offer to fight. Yes, Maroon is 6’3, 225-pounds, but Chara is well, simply put, a monster at 6’9, 250-pounds and willing combatants end up being not so willing after dropping the gloves with Big Zee. To his credit, Maroon held his own, but Chara beat him and almost seemed to be holding back from potential manslaughter on the ice.

After the game, Chara who also helped set up Backes’ power-play goal, had nothing but praise for his latest fight victim.

“Hee’s a physical guy, he’s a big guy, and he forechecks hard and you know, it was just one of those things that, he was doing his job and he was doing it well,” the B’s captain said of Maroon. “He went on a heavy forecheck and finished the check pretty hard on Charlie [McAvoy], you know, he was kind of being heavy and I wanted to push back and start a fight.”

Cehlarik Making Most Of Third Callup – Since being called up from Providence for the third time in his career, 23-year-old winger Peter Cehlarik is doing his best to stick around this time. Cehlarik assisted on Torey Krug’s goal at 3:31 of the second period, that gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at the time, and he now has a goal and two assists in two games. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has been impressed so far with Cehlarik and his ability to adapt and use his 6’2, 205-pound frame to his advantage.

“He’s done what we’ve asked and more,” Cassidy said. “He finished the other night, a couple times, so we know he’s capable of offense. I just think he’s winning – even the Backes goal. It’s a 50/50 puck against a big body. He gets there first. Ties up,
Krech [David Krejci] follows, so now you’re winning puck battles. It’s a big part of hockey, to me. You can go through all of the x’s and o’s of every team in the system, but when you win puck battles, assuming you have good players, which we do, you’re going to make plays when you have it more. I give him a lot of credit for that.

He’s at the top of the crease when that shot
comes from Zee [Zdeno Chara]. We’ve been trying to instill some of those habits into some of our younger guys for a long time, to get there and stay there. He’s a bigger body and little more
mature, so he can take the – hold his ground, I guess, for a better term.”

Schenn Lets Bruins Know What They Could Have – For two weeks now, the Bruins and Blues have been engaged in trade talks with Blues forwards Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko being the main topics of conversation. After heavily scouting the Bruins-Habs game Monday night, the Blues brass and scouts were once again watching from above and talking to Bruins management members in the press box during intermissions. There were also ten other teams represented at the Bruins-Blues Thursday, including Dave Nonis who serves as a special assignment scout and consultant to Ducks general manager Bob Murray.

Schenn put on a show for those scouts and the Bruins as he finished with an assist and seven hits in 21:13 and 23 shifts on ice. Meanwhile, Tarasenko looked to be lallygagging at times finishing the game with no points and just two shots.

“He looks like he’s dogging it at times eh?” one scout yours truly.

That may be why more than one source again told me Thursday that Sweeney is more focused on Schenn.