An absolute battle ended in sheer despair for the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
In a back-and-forth affair with the Toronto Maple Leafs, B’s netminder Tuukka Rask turned away 32 shots, but he couldn’t stop the most important one, a Ron Hainsey one-timer from the point with 1:24 to play that gave Toronto the 4-3 victory.
That goal certainly wasn’t without incident.
As the Leafs worked the puck around the back of the net and up to the point, B’s defenseman Charlie McAvoy skated to the crease to protect the goal. There was a brief tussle while the puck was near the blue line that resulted in McAvoy getting shoved by Zach Hyman slightly onto Rask. By the time Rask skated across his crease after recovering, Hainsey’s puck was en route to the back of the net.
The Bruins challenged the call, but after a lengthy review, the original ruling stood.
Following the game, Rask was adamant that goaltender interference had taken place. And he made sure to express that with plenty of candor following the game.
“I don’t know what the argument was, if it was that (McAvoy) was interfering with me, yeah but, all I can say is that obviously, I would’ve stopped it (if not for perceived interference),” Rask said in the locker room following the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage.
The 30-year-old was asked if it was frustrating that such a big grey area exists when it comes to goaltender interference, and while Rask didn’t necessarily answer that question directly, his stance was quite clear.
“I think it becomes frustrating if they start deciding games, you know? You battle 59 minutes, feel good about yourselves, and then it’s a (expletive) goal like that what decides the game. So that can be frustrating but luckily that hasn’t happened to us too often.”
Rask made sure to add one final time that he believed he was interfered with after being asked if he got a piece of his glove on the puck.
“No, I just couldn’t get there on time because, you know, somebody interfered with me.”
Rask bailed the Bruins out on multiple occasions, not to mention the fact that his teammates didn’t do him any favors on three of the four goals he allowed.
Nevertheless he has bounced back before, and with Anton Khudobin expected to start Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres, he will have a few days to get his mind right.
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Maple Leafs:
— Patrice Bergeron left the arena Saturday with a walking boot on, according to The Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy.
The B’s top-line center was hit with a puck during the second period, but he continued to play the remainder of the game. While his status for Sunday’s game in Buffalo is unclear, it is worth noting it will be the second game of a back-to-back and the second of four games over six days.
— As the B’s trip nears a close — with Sunday’s game marking the last of a five-game road swing — Jake DeBrusk finally tallied a much-deserved goal in Saturday’s loss that he had long been working for.
The rookie winger had four shots and was the best forward in last Saturday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks, and he continued to grind it out despite not having many quality scoring opportunities in the ensuing pair of games.
However, the 21-year-old had three shots on net against the Maple Leafs, and with the goal he scored in the second period, he snapped a five-game point drought and 11-game goal drought.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images
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