All good things must come to an end, and that was the case for Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask’s point streak Saturday night.
Rask helped the Bruins earn at least a point in 21 straight games entering Saturday’s matchup with the Sabres at TD Garden, but Buffalo halted that run of success with a 4-2 win.
The B’s netminder didn’t play poorly despite allowing three goals on 27 shots. He made several quality saves to keep his team in the game. Scott Wilson’s goal that gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead came on a possible high stick and a weird bounce in front of the net, and Buffalo’s third goal was scored on a 3-on-1 rush.
Puck mismanagement led to several turnovers and odd-man rushes toward Rask, forcing him to make some difficult saves in an uncharacteristically sloppy performance by the B’s.
Still, it was an impressive run for Rask. His last loss in regulation before Saturday was Nov. 26 versus the Edmonton Oilers. He allowed one goal or less in 12 of the next 21 games and posted a record of 19-0-2 during that span.
This streak was a major reason why the Bruins shot up the standings and now have a chance to finish the season with the NHL’s best record.
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Sabres:
— Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy provided an updated Saturday morning on injured forward Noel Acciari.
— The Bruins went down 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 to the Sabres. Boston still has not won a game this season when trailing by two goals at any point.
— Bruins forward Ryan Spooner has been quite productive since recovering from an injury and returning to the lineup Dec. 16, with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in his last 23 games. That run includes a goal against the Sabres in the second period — his ninth tally of the season.
— The Bruins failed to score three or more goals Saturday night. The B’s had scored 3-plus goals in nine of their previous 10 games entering Saturday.
— Sabres goalie Chad Johnson made 25 saves on 27 shots for just his second win of the season. The former Bruin now has a 12-1-0 career record in Boston.
— Evander Kane arguably was the game’s best player. He opened the scoring with a second-period goal and easily could have netted two or three if not for Rask. Kane entered Saturday with zero goals scored in his last 14 games, which was bad for the Sabres because he’s a prime candidate to be dealt before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. The Sabres’ asking price reportedly is quite high, and you can bet Buffalo is hoping this performance against the Bruins results in a hot streak for Kane that will increase his value on the trade market.
— Sabres center and best player Jack Eichel left the game in the first period after a collision with Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. Eichel didn’t return to the game. The Sabres have been a bad offensive team this season, but Eichel has been the exception. He’s tallied 53 points (22 goals, 31 assists) in 54 games, which puts him on pace for a career-high in single-season scoring.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images