DETROIT (AP) — Tuukka Rask again showed how valuable he is to the Boston Bruins.
Rask made 23 saves for his 31st career shutout to lead the Bruins to a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Tim Schaller scored for Boston, which snapped a three-game skid and ended Detroit’s six-game winning streak.
It was Rask’s first game back after missing the previous three with a lower-body injury. Boston lost all three games while allowing 14 goals.
“It is easier to play when Tuukka is in the net, because he keeps everything so calm on the ice,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “That’s a huge advantage for the other players.”
Even though he was on the ice, there are doubts that Rask is totally healthy.
“I felt great,” Rask said. “This isn’t going to be a problem going forward. I wasn’t sore at all.”
Jimmy Howard stopped 35 shots for the Red Wings, who lost at home for the first time.
“We couldn’t really get anything going, no momentum at all,” Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “(Howard) was good, PK was good. Then I thought the longer the game went, the more battles we won, more chances we got. But we got to be better.”
Schaller scored with 2:11 left in the second period as his shot from along the goal line in the right corner went in off of Howard’s left hip. It was Schaller’s first goal of the season.
“On the goal, I thought I took everything away on the short side and somehow he managed to bank it in — off the post, off me and in,” Howard said.
“He plays hard and he makes things happen,” Julien said about Schaller.
The play was the result of a turnover by the Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin in the high slot.
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill challenged that the play was offside going into the Detroit zone but the play was determined to be onside after a video review.
“They were hungrier than us all over the ice, outside of Zetterberg’s line,” Blashill said. “I thought Zetterberg’s line had lots of compete in them, as a result they were the only ones to have any zone time. Maybe a player here and a player there, but as a group they outcompeted us. … We should have known better than that. In the end it wasn’t good enough.”
The goal also ended Howard’s shutout streak at 156:02.
He stopped the Bruins’ Austin Czarnik on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle 7:27 into the second period.
Rask made an athletic save on a tip by Detroit’s Tomas Tatar off a shot by defenseman Jonathan Ericsson at about the eight-minute mark of the middle period.
Howard denied Schaller on a short-handed breakaway attempt with 8:38 left in the second.
“I thought I had him beat, but it went off the knob of his stick,” Schaller said. “When I got back to the bench, I asked (teammate defenseman Adam McQuaid) if that was a great save or luck, and he said that’s just luck. I guess fourth-line guys don’t get the nice goals, but the greasy ones count the same”
Detroit forward Steve Ott speared Boston defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara in the groin/hip area shortly after the opening face-off but neither referee saw it. Ott and Chara got into a scrum and both received an unsportsmanlike conduct minor 43 seconds into the game.
NOTE: Detroit LW Thomas Vanek missed his second game with a lower-body injury. … Bruins F David Pastrnak served the first game of a two-game suspension because of an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers D Dan Girardi on Wednesday night. … The Bruins sent G Malcolm Subban to their AHL affiliate in Providence.
Bruins: At Florida on Tuesday night.
Red Wings: Host Florida on Sunday.
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