Tuukka Rask era starts with Bruins win over highly-touted Rangers

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Tuukka Rask didn’t do it alone, but he did provide some evidence that the Boston Bruins will be fine even without two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Tim Thomas.

Rask assumed the starting gig after Thomas decided to take the season off. The 25-year-old netminder and Bruins were forced to hit the ground running against the highly regarded New York Rangers on a night when Rick Nash made his debut.

Nash, Brad Richards, and Marian Gaborik combined for seven of the Rangers’ 21 shots, but Rask only allowed a single goal in Boston’s 3-1 victory on Saturday.

It helps that the Bruins were able to provide Rask with plenty of seasoning before Thomas — at least temporarily — stepped away. Rask had already participated in 102 NHL games coming into the shortened season and always seemed overqualified for the backup job.

He’s been regarded as the Boston Bruins goaltender of the future for quite some time and there’s reason to believe that the Bruins should be fine now that the future is here. Of course, that’s just one game down. There’s still 47 more to go and, among other things, it remains to be seen if he can stay healthy.