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Rask was spectacular in the Eastern Conference finals against the high-powered Pittsburgh Penguins. He held Sidney Crosby and company to two goals in a four-game sweep that sent the Bruins to the finals.
He even had better statistics than Tim Thomas, the goalie he backed up when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011. Thomas was MVP of that year's playoffs then decided to take this season off.
"I'm really proud," Rask said. "I think a lot of people didn't expect us to go this far. We shocked the hockey world against Pittsburgh."
They suffered a shock on Monday night after celebrating Lucic's goal that gave them a 2-1 lead with 7:49 left.
How did the Blackhawks come back?
"We knew they were going to pinch (in toward the net), and you lose a puck battle here or there, and they made great plays," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "The tying goal is a great play. They've got their best players out there on the ice and then they made a great pass."
And on Bolland's winning goal, he said, "our guys were close to him, but, you know, he just out-muscled them on that."
The loss was especially painful because the Bruins wanted to provide good news for a city where the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath resulted in the deaths of four people.
They wanted to cap off the season with a championship.
"We really felt that we wanted to play as hard as we could for a numbers of reasons, for the city," Chara said. "We were very proud of the fans the way they stood behind us."
In the end, though, the game ended with Blackhawks players hoisting the Stanley Cup over their heads and their fans cheering in the Bruins building.
All that after the Bruins were so close to forcing a Game 7 but couldn't hold off the Blackhawks' late charge.
"We didn't respond," Rask said.
|Boston - LP: C. Buchholz||2||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran||4|
|Seattle - LP: J. Paxton||1||FINAL|
|Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura||5|
|(15) North Carolina||65||FINAL|
|(3) South Carolina||67|
|(9) Arizona State||65||FINAL|
|(7) Florida State||66|
|(2) Notre Dame||81|