Goalie milestones in reach as Bruins, Rangers tangle

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

A pair of former Vezina Trophy winners could be in line to add another honor to their impressive resumes on Saturday when Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins host Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers.

Should they get the start at TD Garden, Rask will look to become the Bruins' all-time winningest goaltender, while Lundqvist would have the opportunity to take sole possession of sixth place on the NHL victories list.

Saturday's contest also represents the final game for both teams before they hit their league-mandated break. Boston (27-16-5) and New York (20-20-7) return to game action on Jan. 29.

Rask recorded his 252nd career victory to tie Cecil "Tiny" Thompson following a 28-save performance in the Bruins' 5-2 win over St. Louis on Thursday.

"Yeah, I mean, it's an Original Six franchise," said Rask, the 2014 Vezina Trophy recipient. "I've had the luxury to be here for many, many years, so obviously it means a lot, but many more to come hopefully."

Rask has allowed just 12 goals during a sizzling 6-0-1 stretch. The 31-year-old Finn owns a 9-8-4 mark with two shutouts, a 2.32 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 22 career starts versus the Rangers.

Lundqvist answered a difficult start to the calendar year in which he permitted 15 goals in three losses by yielding a total of five in back-to-back wins over Carolina and Chicago. The 36-year-old Swede turned aside 24 shots in Thursday's 4-3 win over Blackhawks, recording his 445th win to tie with Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk.

"It's an honor to be up there, getting closer and closer to and already passing names that meant a lot to me growing up," said Lundqvist, who won the 2012 Vezina Trophy. "It's a very cool feeling."

Lundqvist won two of three encounters with the Bruins last season to improve his mark to 27-13-2 with six shutouts in 42 career meetings with the club.

The veteran netminder will need to keep an eye of David Krejci, who is riding a five-game point streak (three goals, four assists) after setting up three goals against the Blues. Defenseman Torey Krug has collected 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in his last 10 contests, during which the Bruins have posted a 7-2-1 record.

Rask, or backup Jaroslav Halak, may need to keep tabs on the impressive line of Chris Kreider-Mika-Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello, which has registered 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the past two games. All three members of the line scored in New York's win over Chicago.

"I think Zuc's really been the guy that's changed the complexion of that line," Rangers coach David Quinn said.

"His last two weeks he's been dynamite, just playing the way he's capable of playing. His energy is back. Really, I think he's been the reason that line has kind of taken a turn and been as dominant as it has been -- obviously Mika and Kreids have played really well too, but I think Zuc's really been the guy that's stirred the drink."

Zuccarello, who is riding a four-game point streak (four goals, three assists), scored 1:56 into overtime in New York's 3-2 win over Boston on Dec. 16, 2017.

--Field Level Media