on February 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Savard gives East leaders Bruins win over Rangers

BOSTON (Reuters) – The Boston Bruins, the Eastern Conference leaders, held off a determined challenge from the New York Rangers to claim a 1-0 victory on Saturday.

The Rangers, who were fourth in the East at the start of the game, fell behind 23 seconds from the end of the second period when Marc Savard tipped Dennis Wideman’s shot past goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

The play went to review, with the Rangers claiming Savard deflected with a high stick, but the officials allowed the goal to stand.

Boston’s 21-year-old Finnish keeper Tuukka Rask, making his first appearance of the season, made 35 saves for his first NHL shutout, producing a series of stops in the third period as the Rangers piled on the pressure.

“Obviously, when you can get a shutout, it’s a real good sign. I thought he (Rusk) was very good,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien told reporters.

“I thought our team did a pretty good job in front of him but when he had to make the big saves, he made them. It certainly it gives us an idea of what he’s capable of doing, in the future.”

Asked about Savard, Julien said: “His goal was huge. He’s a small guy that goes to the front of the net and gets those in, it was obviously an important goal for us.”

Rangers head coach Tom Renny praised his team’s effort.

“I thought we played a pretty good road game. It was one of those games where an error here or there is going to cost you,” he said.

“That is what happened on their goal. I think we gave them enough to think about.

“We played the best team in the Eastern Conference to the letter today. With any luck at all, a couple posts and maybe we are still playing right now.

“They are a good team, there is no question about that. They help us get better. The fact of the matter is we need to.”

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Martin Petty)