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SportRask's roll has Bruins a win away from Stanley Cup Final

16:25  16 may  2019
16:25  16 may  2019 Source:   ap.org

Bruins beat Carolina 2-1, take 3-0 series lead

Bruins beat Carolina 2-1, take 3-0 series lead Chris Wagner and Brad Marchand scored 5:07 apart in the second period, and the Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 to take a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final. Tuukka Rask stopped 35 shots for the Bruins. They have won six straight postseason games for the first time since 1978. They are one victory away from their third Stanley Cup Final appearance in nine years. Boston will go for the sweep on Thursday night. Calvin de Haan scored and Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves for the Hurricanes while starting in place of Petr Mrazek, who allowed 10 goals in the first two games of the series.

That' s exactly what Rask has been doing, too, in helping the Bruins to a 3-0 lead on the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final . Boston goes for the sweep Thursday night in Raleigh. The 32-year-old Finnish netminder has stopped 85 of 90 shots in the first three games of the series with

That' s exactly what Rask has been doing, too, in helping the Bruins to a 3-0 lead on the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final . Boston goes for the sweep Thursday night in Raleigh. The 32-year-old Finnish netminder has stopped 85 of 90 shots in the first three games of the series with

Rask's roll has Bruins a win away from Stanley Cup Final© The Associated Press Boston Bruins' Matt Grzelcyk (48) and goalie Tuukka Rask, of Finland, defend against Carolina Hurricanes' Justin Williams (14) during the third period in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final series in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Boston won 2-1. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) RALEIGH, N.C. — Tuukka Rask is stopping just about any puck playoff opponents can shoot his way — even the ones he doesn't see.

The goaltender has been dominant in the Boston Bruins' six-game postseason winning streak that has them on the doorstep of the Stanley Cup Final. Just don't expect him to make any grand declaration of being "in the zone" as he makes stop after stop in these playoffs.

Empty the tank: Well-rested Tuukka Rask pivotal to Bruins' Stanley Cup run

Empty the tank: Well-rested Tuukka Rask pivotal to Bruins' Stanley Cup run Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask has saved his best for the playoffs, and after splitting time with Jaroslav Halak throughout the regular season, it's evident No. 40 has extra gas in the tank as Boston chases its seventh Cup in franchise history. The 32-year-old played in 46 games this season - his lightest workload since the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign. When comparing his postseason numbers this year to the 2013 playoff run that saw the Bruins make the Stanley Cup Final, the similarities are difficult to deny. Rask has had to prove himself in one of hockey's most passionate markets, often being targeted as the scapegoat for the Bruins' shortcomings.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Tuukka Rask is stopping just about any puck playoff opponents can shoot his way — even the ones he doesn't see. The goaltender has been dominant in the Boston Bruins ’ six-game postseason winning streak that has them on the doorstep of the Stanley Cup Final .

The goaltender has been dominant in the playoffs, as Boston looks to sweep Carolina on Thursday.

He's confident and comfortable. Leave it at that.

"I've felt good for many, many months," Rask said. "It's just the way when you're seeing the puck, when you feel comfortable. It's about timing and patience and all that. I think experience helps that. ... The way I usually want to play, I want to play calm and make myself look big and maybe even tough chances, try to make it look easy kind of.

"So if that's in the zone, then so be it. But I just try to be focused and give us a chance."

That's exactly what Rask has been doing, too, in helping the Bruins to a 3-0 lead on the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final. Boston goes for the sweep Thursday night in Raleigh.

The 32-year-old Finnish netminder has stopped 85 of 90 shots in the first three games of the series with the Hurricanes, who have just been unable to solve Rask even when getting a handful of open-net chances. He's allowed nine goals amid 205 shots in the six-game streak, good for a .956 save percentage and a 1.5 goals-against average.

Chara skates before Bruins' practice

Chara skates before Bruins' practice Three days after he had to miss Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final because of an undisclosed injury, Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated before practice. Chara skated with fellow injured defenseman Steven Kampfer and Bruins skills coach Kim Brandvold. Chara did not participate in the full practice. Center David Krejci did not practice because of a "maintenance day", but is expected to rejoin the team for their next practice. ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.

Behind Tuukka Rask ’ s 35-save effort, the Bruins secured a 3–0 series lead over the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final . There’s one problem for anyone with Stanley Cup aspirations other than Boston: Rask . Teams have tried and failed to overcome his play in net.

The Bruins are one win away from their third Stanley Cup Final appearance in nine years. Rask stopped 35 shots for the Bruins , who have won six straight postseason games for the first time since 1978. Only four teams in NHL history have ever rallied to win a series they trailed 3-0, and none

Overall, he's second in the playoffs for save percentage (.939) and goals-against average (1.96) while posting a playoff-best 11 victories in 16 games.

"He looks super calm right now," said Carolina defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who spent three seasons as Rask's teammate with the Bruins. "We have to do a better job of getting in his face and making it harder on him. I mean, if he's going to see it, he's going to stop it, so we've got to get some sloppy stuff around the net."

Yet it didn't matter what the Hurricanes did Tuesday night in an all-out attack on Rask to start the game. They couldn't zip or slip one by him.

Rask stopped 20 first-period shots — 20! — and ensured the Bruins went into the first intermission in a scoreless game despite the Hurricanes carrying play in front of a rowdy crowd that had helped Carolina go 5-0 at home in the postseason to that point.

That included one sequence roughly three minutes in when Rask stopped Nino Niederreiter's tip, Micheal Ferland's putback at the crease and Justin Williams' follow-up try despite Rask losing his stick. There was another Williams rebound that wasn't officially counted as a shot on goal,, too. It was a harrowing few seconds for Boston coach Bruce Cassidy, who quipped: "I might have had my eyes closed for three of them."

Bruins' Chara says he's on track for Stanley Cup Final

Bruins' Chara says he's on track for Stanley Cup Final Bruins captain and veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara returned to practice and worked out with the full squad. It was his first such workout since sitting out Boston's Eastern Conference-clinching victory over Carolina.

That’ s a deadly triple threat in the playoffs, and it has them one win away from the Stanley Cup Final . Boston survived a first-period surge from Carolina, scored in the first 81 seconds of the second, and rode ace netminder Tuukka Rask to a 2-1 win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference

The Bruins looked like they had taken a 3-1 lead in the third but had a goal negated due to goalie interference. That score held until the final horn, giving the Bruins a tight victory in Game 3 and pushing the Hurricanes to the brink of The Blues are three wins away from a Stanley Cup berth.

"He's been dialed in" since the start of the playoffs, Cassidy said. "He's been excellent. He really hasn't had a poor night. He's had a couple that were, I'd say, above average and the rest have been very good. Tonight the first period was excellent."

That gave the Bruins a chance to regroup, then come out and score twice in the second period to take control.

Sure, Rask caught a break when Carolina's Teuvo Teravainen missed a wide-open net in the opening minute when the goalie fell trying to slide across the crease. And Rask said there were shots that he never spotted until the puck hit him.

"There's a couple of chances I didn't see in the first period," he said. "A lot of times, if you don't see it and don't move, you're going to have a better shot at saving it than if you would move too much."

Then again, when a goaltender is playing as well as Rask is, sometimes he makes his own luck.

"He's always given us a chance to win," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "That being said, right now he's definitely in the zone and doing some amazing stuff."

NOTES: Cassidy said fourth-line winger Chris Wagner has returned to Boston for further testing and will not play in Game 4. Wagner, who scored the Bruins' first goal in Game 3, hurt his right arm while blocking a shot late in the third period. ... Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said Curtis McElhinney would "probably" make his second straight start in goal. Petr Mrazek started the Hurricanes' first nine playoff games but allowed 10 goals in the first two games of this series.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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Rask's roll has Bruins a win away from Stanley Cup Final

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