Sunday, May 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

For once, Bruins goalie Rask looked mortal

Stanley Cup final

BRUINS 2, BLACKHAWKS 2

Game 1: Blackhawks 4, Bruins 3 3 OT

Game 2: Bruins 2, Blackhawks 1 OT

Game 3: Bruins 2, Blackhawks 0

Game 4: Blackhawks 6, Bruins 5 OT

Saturday: at Chicago, 8, Ch. 8

Monday: at Boston, 8, Ch. 8

Wednesday: at Chicago, 8, Ch. 8 *

* If necessary

BOSTON — A few minutes after scoring in overtime of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday, Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook uttered nine words that would be greeted with bewilderment in New York and Pittsburgh.

"It was nice to get a few past Tuukka," he said of the Blackhawks' 6-5 win over the Bruins.

The Rangers rarely saw that Rask. The Penguins never saw that Rask. And until Game 4, neither had the Blackhawks.

Rask has been the best goalie in the playoffs with three shutouts. Even after Wednesday, he still leads the league with a .941 save percentage and 1.83 goals-against average. In the eight games before Wednesday, he had allowed more than a single goal just once.

The notion that the Blackhawks — or any team — could score six times against Rask, especially in Boston, seemed implausible. In three home games against the Rangers in the East semifinals, Rask allowed a combined five goals as the Bruins won in five. In two home games against Pittsburgh in an East final sweep (one of which went into double overtime), he allowed one.

"Every goal is stoppable," Rask said Thursday. "I don't think there were any weak ones (in Game 4). They were mistakes that piled up, and I wasn't able to bail our guys out. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you don't."

The Blackhawks scored while shorthanded. They scored on the power play. They scored on deflections. They scored on long shots. They scored on rebounds.

"We were just around the net. We were getting inside and found the rebounds," said Jonathan Toews, who had gone 10 games without a goal before getting one in the second. "Ugly goals, we don't care. We'll find a way."

The winner came on Seabrook's shot from the point as Toews provided a screen.

"I saw it at the last second," Rask said; "too late."

Boston coach Claude Julien did not blame Rask for the loss but didn't rush to his defense, either.

"I don't evaluate the players publicly," Julien said. "I look at our whole team and can tell you our whole team was average. We have an opportunity to be better next game. Hopefully, if anything, that makes us even hungrier."

Ratings: Wednesday's game was watched by about 6.5 million people, most for a Cup final Game 4 since records started being kept in 1987. The series is averaging 5.4 million, the most through four games since 1994 and more than double the 2.5 million last season.

Around the league: The Flyers confirmed they will buy out center Danny Briere's contract. It saves $6.5 million for next season's salary cap. … The Sharks re-signed wing Raffi Torres for $6 million over three years. He had seven goals and 11 assists this season.

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