Rask Stops 30 As Bruins Beat Leafs 4-2

Wednesday, November 21st 2007, 8:27 am
By: News On 6

TORONTO (AP) _ Tuukka Rask showed the Toronto Maple Leafs just what they gave away.

The Bruins' 20-year-old goalie made 30 saves Tuesday night in his first NHL start and led Boston to a 4-2 victory over the Maple Leafs.

It was just over a year ago that Toronto dealt away their former first-round pick for more established netminder Andrew Raycroft. But it was Rask who skated off the Air Canada Centre ice Tuesday with a win.

``Of course it means a lot,'' Rask said. ``It was fun to play, to show them that I'm good enough to play at this level.''

Rask remembers the phone call that told him his days with the Maple Leafs were over. It came on June 24, 2006, just one year after the Finnish goalie was chosen with the No. 21 pick.

``It was during the biggest midsummer party in Finland,'' Rask said. ``It was 2 a.m., so you can imagine how I felt when they called me. Next day I was kind of surprised and realized what happened.''

Chuck Kobasew scored with 3:31 left in the third period to put the Bruins ahead. He stepped into the slot and ripped a wrist shot past Vesa Toskala on the stick side, giving Boston a 3-2 lead and stunning the home crowd that saw the Leafs blow a 2-0 lead.

In other NHL games Tuesday, it was Edmonton 5, Vancouver 4 in a shootout; and Calgary 4, Colorado 1.

Kobasew capped the Bruins' win with an empty-net goal 26.7 seconds from the end. P.J. Axelsson and Phil Kessel also scored for Boston, who beat the Leafs for the second time in less than a week after a 5-2 win at home last Thursday.

Mats Sundin and Bryan McCabe scored for Toronto, which outshot Boston 32-25.

``A game like tonight, where we are up two goals and let Boston get back into the game, it's certainly very disappointing,'' Sundin said. ``It was an important game for us.''

Rask flashed his talent at times, robbing Darcy Tucker from in close in the first period and later stopping him on a breakaway. But Rask also gave up a long goal to Sundin.

Both the Bruins and Leafs were content with a low-risk, defensive approach that featured dump-ins and dump-outs and little else until Boston's late comeback.

``The frustration now is trying to get a good solid defensive game out of our team,'' Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. ``We give up 25 shots, not a whole lot, but now we're not generating much offense at the other end.''

The Leafs opened the scoring during a power play 15:10 into the first period. McCabe's pass attempt deflected off Bruins center Glen Metropolit and landed behind Rask.

The fluky goal gave Toronto life, and the Leafs carried play for most of the second period.

Sundin made it 2-0 at 15:36 of the middle period when he shot the puck while it was on edge, giving it a sinking effect.

``It wasn't tipped, but it was a curveball,'' Rask said.

The Bruins responded when Kessel one-timed a pass from behind the net with 47.9 seconds to go in the second period during a power play. The goal ended Toskala's personal best shutout streak at 141 minutes, 47 seconds.

Boston pressed in the third and was rewarded. Axelsson scored his first goal of the season at 9:52 when he one-timed a shot into an empty net after a nice deke and pass from Marc Savard that got Toskala to commit.

Flames 4, Avalanche 1

At Calgary, Alberta, Owen Nolan scored twice, including an empty-net goal, to lead the host Flames to their first win of the season over Colorado.

The Flames, who got the win despite mustering only 15 shots on goalie Jose Theodore, had lost three previous meetings this season to their Northwest Division rivals.

Jarome Iginla and David Moss, with his first goal of the season, also scored for the Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 20 shots.

Marek Svatos had the goal for the Avalanche, who lost their third straight on a four-game road trip.

Oilers 5, Canucks 4, SO

At Edmonton, Alberta, Shawn Horcoff scored in a shootout.

Horcoff, Tom Gilbert, Marty Reasoner and Dustin Penner scored in regulation and the Oilers snapped a two-game losing streak.

Alexandre Burrows, Brad Isbister, Alexander Edler and Markus Naslund had goals for Vancouver.