Rask reflects on emotional Bruins return in win over Flyers


Two U's, two Ks, two points for the Boston Bruins during an emotional night at TD Garden.

B's fans were fired up Thursday to see veteran goalie Tuukka Rask make his return to the Bruins, and he delivered with a vintage performance.

Rask stopped 25 of the 27 shots sent his way to help lead the B's to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It was (emotional)," Rask told reporters in his postgame press conference. "It was very much out of the normal, I guess, the way I was feeling before the game, (Wednesday) especially. I'm not used to this gameday routine. It's been many months since the last game, so (being the backup Wednesday) definitely helped that I kind of got the experience of the gameday. Then, obviously today, playing. It was great to see the fans' support, the best fans."

Rask was tested several times, including two breakaways, but he came up clutch on each one.

It was Rask's first game action since Game 6 of the second-round playoff series versus the New York Islanders last June. Rask was playing with a torn hip labrum at the time, which he had offseason surgery to repair. After practicing with the team for several weeks, Rask signed a one-year contract with the B's on Tuesday.

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Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy noted that Rask felt good physically after the game.

"In terms of just tracking the puck and playing the game and stopping the puck, I'd say it looked like old Tuukka," Cassidy said.

"Talking to him after, no issues with the surgery. A little bit sore in spots, but I think that's just from not playing for a while, so just muscular. His conditioning, he said, was pretty good. He got tested late, obviously, spent a lot of time in our end with the penalties and the empty net. Good for him, glad to see him come through."

It's not known when Rask will return to the net. The Bruins host the Nashville Predators on Saturday and don't play again after that until Tuesday. Boston's other netminder, Linus Ullmark, is 7-1 in his last eight games and playing better than he has all season. He deserves a consistent workload given his recent performances.

Goalie depth is important, and the Bruins have plenty of it with a healthy Rask and Ullmark on top of his game. Boston has won seven of its last eight matchups, and there's no reason this run can't continue if the goaltending remains solid.

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