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Thoughts on the Bruins Winter Classic win

January 1, 2019, 6:55 PM ET [15 Comments]
Anthony Travalgia
Boston Bruins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Coming off a comeback win in Buffalo on Saturday, the Bruins put forth a solid effort Tuesday afternoon in the 2019 NHL Winter Classic, beating the Blackhawks 4-2.

Here are some thoughts from the Bruins second straight win.

Tuukka Rask delivers
I really thought Tuukka Rask was dialed in on Tuesday. Earlier this week Rask had mentioned how he is not a fan of playing outdoors because of how difficult it is for him to track the puck. But whatever issues he's had in the past in tracking the puck, there was none of that Tuesday.

Rask made 36 saves, including some big stops that he needed to make as the Bruins erased two separate one-goal deficits.

One of Rask's biggest saves came in the final seconds of the first period as he stopped a Patrick Kane breakaway attempt, followed by Kane's attempt off the rebound. Rask made another massive stop on Kane, this time with the goalie pulled and the Bruins holding onto a one-goal lead late in the third period.

Before Tuesday's contest, Bruins President Cam Neely was a guest on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Felger and Mazz. In his interview, Neely voiced that the team needs Rask to go a run, and string some wins together.

"We need Tuukka to step up and show that he can play a string of games and play well for us," said Neely. "He went on an amazing run last year. We're hoping for another one this year."

Tuesday's performance by Rask should be enough to keep the "Rask can't win a big game" crowd quiet for now.

Sean Kuraly plays hero, again
Things are starting to come around for Sean Kuraly. Three days after his game winning goal in Buffalo gave the Bruins the overtime victory, his third period tally Tuesday served as the game winning goal, helping the Bruins to another big win.

The line of Joakim Nordstrom, Kuraly and Chris Wagner was one of the Bruins best, giving the Blackhawks a hard time every time they touched the ice. With how well they were clicking on Tuesday, touching the ice was something head coach Bruce Cassidy allowed them to do quite often.

"I think he knows we complement each other and we know the type of game we want to play and we’ve kind of agreed on it as three men and when we do it, it seems to work," Kuraly told NBC'S Pierre Mcguire about the confidence Cassidy had in the trio.

With his back-to-back game winning goals, Kuraly is up to four goals this season. He had just six last year. The play of the line on Tuesday should earn them another look Thursday when the Bruins return to TD Garden to host the Calgary Flames.

The 22 seconds of Patrice Bergeron

When you think about Patrice Bergeron as a two-way forward, his stick lift to interrupt a David Kampf breakaway attempt followed by his game-tying goal 22 seconds later was the perfect representation of what he brings to the table.

"Obviously on that play I see that Pasta [David Pastrnak] is starting to cough up the puck, so I am trying to get back right away, and just catch the guy and just make a defensive play. Once he went on his backhand, I knew he was going to try to go back on his fore, so I was trying to wait for him to do that and lift up his stick," Bergeron said. "After that I saw them go for a change and I think someone broke a stick, too. So I think that was kind of the play and I felt like we had an advantage there."

To me, that 22 second span was the biggest in the game as it went from a potential 3-1 Blackhawks lead, to a 2-2 game entering the third.

Just another day at the office for Bergeron.
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