By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — A goaltender swears to protect the cage in front of which he stands. It is a sacred vow, one that is only broken for delayed penalties, breaks in play, or desperate situations late in games.

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It is not broken in the final minute of a 2-2 game. That doesn’t happen.

Unless, of course, you were Tuukka Rask on Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden. Locked in a tie game with a minute to go, Tuukka made a casual skate toward the Bruins bench when his team possessed the puck in the neutral zone.

Rask’s nonchalance stood out amid the chaos of the game, and the Bruins’ bench erupted, telling the netminder to get back in his crease.

Even then, Rask was in no hurry to get back into position, seemingly confused by everything going on around him.

When regulation ended, the TV broadcast caught Rask laughing on his way to the bench. And after the 3-2 overtime win, Rask was able to explain what happened.

“I just had to tell something to Jaro [Halak] really quick,” Rask said with a straight face.

Rask then came clean.

“I honestly thought we were down 2-1. That’s it. I thought we were down 2-1,” Rask said. “I was waiting for [Bruce Cassidy] to wave me over there, and I’m like, ‘Why the heck is he not? Minute and a half left, he’s not waving me … ‘ And then I just decided to come over when we had the puck.”

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Fortunately, Rask got word that it was actually 2-2 before any damage was done.

“Chucky [McAvoy] told me, ‘Buddy, it’s 2-2,'” Rask shared.

Rask was so committed to his little vacation that it even confused some of his own teammates.

“I thought we had a power play,” Brad Marchand said with a laugh. “I started yelling at [Kevan Miller] to hold it because we had a PP. I didn’t see the ref behind us, I just saw Tuukks coming off. So I was a little confused when Tuukks came back into the net. But luckily they didn’t capitalize on that opportunity. But I think Tuukks was just trying to throw everyone off.”

For Cassidy, he hadn’t yet gotten an explanation from Rask before he spoke to the media. But the coach couldn’t believe it was a case of Rask not knowing the score.

“I never talked to him about it at the end of the day. So it’s a good question. I figure it’s one of those two, right?” Cassidy said when asked if Rask thought it was a delayed penalty situation or a pulling-the-goalie scenario. “You’d think he has access to the scoreboard, so I’d like to think it was a delayed penalty. I thought a couple of guys thought that on our bench, but at the end of the day, we got it squared away.”

Surely, “you’d think he has access to the scoreboard” is a subtle zinger that was sent with purpose. But perhaps Rask — who was outstanding in this game, with 33 saves on 35 shots — was so dialed in that he didn’t have time to look up or over at one of the scoreboards displayed inside MSG.

Everyone was, obviously, all smiles about the brain fart. Such is the luxury of winning the game. But in the coming days and weeks, on the practice ice and in the dressing room, Rask might be wise to expect hearing some barbs from his teammates and coaches about this exceptional goof on national television.

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“You know, hey, it’s an entertainment industry, I guess. And that’s what we’re trying to provide: entertainment for the fans,” Rask said with a smile. “I’m sure people were shocked at first, but hopefully they got a good laugh out of that. I sure did.”