The 2017 season hasn’t exactly been a breeze for Tuukka Rask.
The Boston Bruins goaltender has struggled mightily throughout the campaign, which resulted in the B’s going with Anton Khudobin in net for their past four games. Boston won each of those contests with Khudobin in between the pipes, marking the Black and Gold’s first win streak of the season.
The Bruins went back to Rask on Sunday for their game against the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden. But unfortunately for the B’s, Rask wasn’t able to help the team extend its win streak to five, as he allowed three goals in a 4-2 loss.
Rask’s performance against the Oilers roughed up his already less-than-stellar stats this season. Through 13 starts, the veteran netminder owns a 3-8-2 record while allowing 2.91 goals per game with a .899 save percentage. Conversely, Khudobin is 7-0-2 while allowing 2.22 goals per game with a .932 save percentage through 10 games played.
After the game, Rask didn’t hide from his emotions as his struggles continue, but he made it clear that his shortcomings won’t affect his mindset moving forward.
“When they start to pile up and nothing seems to go your way, it’s frustrating,” Rask said, as seen on NESN’s Bruins postgame coverage. “Obviously right now it’s frustrating, but tomorrow is a new day and go back to work and start building something new. That’s really all you can control, your work ethic and attitude and how you show up to work. That’s all I’m going to do.”
Rask didn’t believe there was any added pressure heading into Sunday after sitting the previous four games, but he lamented the fact that his performance didn’t result in victory.
“When you get a layoff for many days, I guess you want to kind of come off refreshed and try to get the win,” he said. “I thought I played good enough to win the game, didn’t get the bounces, but that’s it. That’s hockey.”
One has to imagine that the Bruins will roll with Khudobin as their starter going forward, but the team can’t completely put Rask on the backburner. If Boston has any hope of reaching the playoffs and making a deep postseason run, both goalies need to play at a high level.
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Oilers:
— David Pastrnak notched his 12th goal of the season, which puts him in a tie for 10th most in the league. Rask logged an assist on the tally.
— Torey Krug assisted on both of Boston’s goals.
— Charlie McAvoy led the B’s with 24:58 of ice time. Danton Heinen posted the most time among forwards with 19:48.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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