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Kalman: Bruins’ Dedication To Team Defense Shuts Down Flyers

By Matt Kalman, CBS Boston
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BOSTON, MA - MARCH 9: Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated by teammate Dougie Hamilton #27 of the Boston Bruins following their 3-0 shutout win against the Philadelphia Flyers during the game on March 9, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 9: Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated by teammate Dougie Hamilton #27 of the Boston Bruins following their 3-0 shutout win against the Philadelphia Flyers during the game on March 9, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – When the Bruins’ team defense is going well, everyone’s doing his job and no one’s worrying about individual credit.

So Tyler Seguin shouldn’t be too disappointed that Tuukka Rask claimed he didn’t know it was the speedy forward that helped preserve the shutout Saturday with a diving stop of Maxime Talbot’s shot from the top of the right circle with less than three minutes to go.

“Oh, that was Tyler? I thought it was Dougie [Hamilton],” Rask said after he made 23 saves in a 3-0 win against Philadelphia at the TD Garden. “Great, great. He was telling me that he would’ve caught the guy when I sprinted out of the net. But it’s good to see he’s got my back and he’s got those goalie skills too, so it’s good to see.”

Upon further review, the in-game excitement over Seguin’s play might have been too much considering the puck was going wide. However, the play was emblematic of the dedication to defense Boston showed not just against the Flyers, but also in the Bruins’ 4-2 win against Toronto Thursday night. After all, the Bruins had surrendered eight goals in their prior two games – losses to Washington and Montreal.

Boston held Philadelphia to just 12 shots through two periods. And when the Flyers’ shot total increased in the third – they put 11 pucks on Rask – the attempts were hardly challenging for Boston’s young Finnish netminder, who was on his way to his second shutout of the season.

“Really good,” Rask said about the Bruins’ defensive game. “I think the best so far, this year. They did a great job.”

“I think I saw almost every puck,” the goaltender continued. “I mean, they didn’t have that many shots before that last 15, 10 minutes. But overall they did a great job.”

The Bruins killed off three Philadelphia power plays in addition to shutting them down 5-on-5. The Flyers’ power play entered the game ranked fifth in the NHL and was 4-for-7 in its previous two games.

The Bruins were so effective, the Flyers held a closed-door meeting after the game well past the allotted time they’re supposed to keep the media out of their dressing room. Part of that might have been their three-game losing streak, but the Bruins’ ability to suck the life out of Philadelphia’s offense definitely contributed to their opponents’ powwow.

Rask got credit for the shutout and all his saves. But absent among the Bruins’ 18 blocked shots by nine different players was Tyler Seguin. Sometimes the best efforts don’t earn credit anywhere. However, most of the time those efforts are rewarded with a victory.

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