Rask's stats in must-win road playoff games might surprise Bruins fans


The Boston Bruins are one win away from elimination and they are sticking with Tuukka Rask as their starting goalie.

Head coach Bruce Cassidy has confirmed that Rask will be in net when the B's play the New York Islanders in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders lead the series 3-2 after winning Game 5 in Boston on Monday night.

The debate over which goalie to start -- a less-than-100-percent Rask or a fully healthy rookie in Jeremy Swayman -- has been an intense one throughout the region over the last 48 hours.

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There are a decent amount of Bruins fans who, for one reason or another, aren't huge supporters of Rask. He's been one of Boston's most polarizing athletes over the last decade or so. Even though he's statistically the best goalie in B's history, a lot of people won't give him the proper amount of respect/praise until he wins the Stanley Cup as a starting netminder.

That's fair, but one narrative that isn't true is he rarely plays well in big playoff moments. In fact, Rask has enjoyed plenty of success in the exact situation the Bruins are facing Wednesday night on Long Island.

Here are Rask's stats in must-win playoff games on the road:

Not bad at all.

The last time Rask played in a must-win road playoff matchup was Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues. He made 28 saves on 29 shots as the Bruins won 6-2 to force a Game 7 back in Boston.

Rask has been very good in the 2021 playoffs, and another strong performance could be enough to propel the B's to victory and set up a do-or-die Game 7 on Friday night at TD Garden.

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