By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins needed a bounce-back effort from most of the team after their stunning miscues cost them a home game against the New York Islanders. It had to come on the road against a tough divisional opponent in the Florida Panthers – but they got it, certainly from goaltender Tuukka Rask, who stopped 29 of 30 shots en route to the 3-1 win.
Rask made a particularly awesome save in the second period during a Panthers power play to keep the Bruins on top 2-0 at the time. The puck caromed behind the net and rolled perfectly to the Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov, who snapped a short-side shot to a seemingly open net. But Rask slid to his left just in time to trap the puck between his glove and pad. You can watch the save in the featured video above.
Earlier in the period, winger Frank Vatrano got the Bruins on the board with a goal in his first game with the NHL club since recovering from foot surgery. He floated into the slot uncovered and took a slick backhand pass from Torey Krug to fire the puck past Panthers goalie James Reimer for the 1-0 lead.
Although Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr eventually recorded an assist to pass Mark Messier for sole possession of second place on the all-time points list, he had a chance to reach the milestone in the first period. Rask made a series of point-blank pad saves to deny Jagr on a scoring chance in the first period.
The win was a timely one for the Bruins, who had lost six of their last eight games entering Thursday. They needed a boost as they embarked on their current four-game road trip, and they got one just in time.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at email@example.com.