VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Boston Bruins gave coach Claude Julien a glimpse of how good they can be. Now, he hopes they can keep it going.
Tuukka Rask stopped 17 shots for his third shutout of the season and the 29th of his career as the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 on Saturday night.
“When you look at games like tonight you really see what this team, when it puts its mind to it, is capable of,” Julien said. “Hopefully these kinds of wins solidifies the fact we know what we need to do to have success.”
Landon Ferraro had a goal and an assist, and Brad Marchand, Torey Krug and Tyler Randell also scored for the Bruins. Boston, coming off a 5-4 overtime loss at Calgary on Friday, was playing for the third time in four nights.
The Bruins snapped a two-game slide (0-0-2) that followed a five-game win streak to close out November.
Rask, the backup to Tim Thomas when Boston beat Vancouver in the 2011 Stanley Cup final, picked up his first victory at Rogers Arena after giving up four goals in each of the Bruins’ last two visits.
“We were in the system the whole game and it showed,” Rask said. “All the shots they had were from the outside or not very difficult shots so that’s a good sign.”
Jacob Markstrom got the start ahead of Ryan Miller and finished with 18 stops for the Canucks, who have lost five straight and 13 of their last 16.
“We have to stick together,” Markstrom said. “It feels terrible right now. It’s been a lot time since I’ve been this disappointed.”
Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins called the game a “must” in the wake of Thursday’s 4-2 defeat to Dallas, but the Canucks didn’t look ready to compete from the opening faceoff.
“When you’re playing without confidence and you’re not skating, that’s a real bad combination,” Desjardins said. “You’ve got to play hard, you’ve got to play physical, you’ve got to battle. I don’t think our physical and battle levels are high enough.”
Vancouver has now dropped 13 of its last 16 and is in danger of seeing the season slip away if things don’t start to turn around soon.
“There’s got to be something in you where you just hate to lose,” Desjardins said. “I always say if you accept losing you’ll lose. You just will. There has to be something where you just won’t accept it. You’ll find a way, your hunger level will be higher. We’ve let that slip a little bit.”
Markstrom made 38 saves in Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime loss in Los Angeles, but was beaten on the first shot of the game from Marchand at 2:54 of the opening period.
One of the villains for Vancouver fans during the 2011 final, Marchand took a feed from Patrice Bergeron and ripped his 13th of the season.
Boston doubled its lead at 7:03 when Krug blasted a one-timer from the point that flew in past Markstrom for his third.
“We haven’t learned from Game 1 to Game 28 that in this league you can’t win games when you keep turning the puck over,” Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. “To have the other team put in zero effort to get scoring chances, that can’t happen, and it keeps happening to us. It’s not good enough.”
Vancouver’s first genuine chance came just under two minutes into the second when defenseman Yannick Weber tested Rask from the slot.
Ferraro made it 3-0 at 8:02 when his weak shot from the right-wing boards off the rush fluttered past Markstrom for his second goal of the season.
The first three Boston goals beat Markstrom over the glove, and he got a sarcastic cheer from fans on his next save.
“He’s had some real good games,” Desjardins said. “He’d probably like to have a couple back tonight.”
Rask came on in relief of Jonas Gustavsson against the Flames, and had a relatively quiet night in this one, but did have to make a nice stop on Vancouver’s Bo Horvat 5 minutes into the third to keep the shutout alive
Randell knocked in his fourth with 8:28 left in the third.
“Boston played a good game, but we’re not getting what we need,” Desjardins said. “We’ve got to be hungrier.”
NOTES: The Canucks have allowed at least three goals in 14 of their last 16 games. … There are eight players left on both the Boston and Vancouver rosters from the 2011 final. … Canucks rookie D Ben Hutton returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. … Bruins D Adam McQuaid left in the first period after blocking a shot with his left arm and didn’t return. … Marchand played in his 400th NHL game.
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