Tonight marks a special night for Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask as he hits a personal milestone. With the team facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in a rematch at home, Rask will be approaching his 500th NHL career game.
HITTING THAT MILESTONE
Some say reaching that amount of games (particularly for a goaltender) is equivalent to a player hitting 1,000 games. He will become the 72nd goaltender to have played 500 games in NHL History. In his lifetime career so far, the 32-year-old has a 2.27 GAA (goals against average) with a .921 save percentage. Rask spoke to reporters yesterday after Mondays’ practice:
"They say it's like 1,000 games for players. It's a big milestone. I think you play 500 games as a goalie, you have to - it's going to take some years. Just goes to show how old I am, that's about it..It goes by so quickly that you don't really pay attention how many games you play total until you've reached some kind of milestone. Then you start looking back, like holy crap, it’s 500 and it's been whatever years. Time flies, definitely. Just grateful that I've been part of this team so long and still in it. It's awesome"
At yesterday’s practice, teammates marveled at the accomplishment and offered up accolades:
"It just shows his durability and the way he takes care of himself and we are certainly very happy for him. He deserves the accomplishment and whatever comes with it. The part is he's been playing really good and high quality hockey for a long time. Very happy for him.”-Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara
Since 2009, Brad Marchand has seen the goaltender grow his game and as the fellow teammate puts it:
"It's been a lot of fun playing with him, it's been almost a decade now. He's such a great teammate on and off the ice. He's very intense, I'm sure you've seen his moments over his time here. But he is so incredible. He is such a great reason why we've been as good as we have been and why we've made some really good runs.
"He's been a great teammate and he's so easy going and so easy to get along with him. Very happy for him. He's had a phenomenal career and nowhere close from being done, very happy for him.”
SECOND TIME A CHARM?
The Bruins will be facing their longtime rival tonight after losing this past Saturday in 4-3 overtime loss. The Leafs were handed the same sandwich as they lost in overtime last night. They faced the Columbus Blue Jackets, who blew an early two goal lead. Toronto was up 3-2 before the Blue Jackets tied it up in the third. Columbus was awarded a penalty shot in overtime, beating the Leafs 4-3.
Boston is currently second in the Atlantic Division behind the Buffalo Sabres with one game behind. They are 5-1-2 in regulation. Toronto is third behind Boston at 5-3-2 in regulation having played two more games than Boston.
The Bruins are 2-0 at home while the Leafs are 2-1 on the road. Toronto’s Mitch Marner leads the team in points (12) and assists (9), while Auston Matthews leads the team with eight goals. Goaltender Frederik Anderson played his 200th game as a Leaf and became the 13th net-minder in franchise history to play that amount.
The Bruins’ David Pastrnak, who was recently named NHL 1st Star of the Week, leads the team in points (15) and goals (9). Fellow first-liner Brad Marchand leads the team with eight assists. Pastrnak led the league in goals and points through three games. The 23-year-old winger had an explosive game against the Anaheim Ducks where he tallied up all four goals in a 4-2 win. He is now tied for first in the league for goals.
It was announced that Bruins David Krejci has been placed on injured reserve, and the team have recalled Providence’s Anders Bjork on an emergency basis.
Projected Lines for the Boston Bruins:
Projected Lines for the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Johnsson – Matthews - Nylander
Mikheyev – Kerfoot - Marner
Moore – Spezza - Kapanen
Timashov – Shore - Gauthier
Rielly - Ceci
Muzzin - Barrie
Marincin - Holl
WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 7:00 PM
WHERE TO WATCH: ESPN+, NESN
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