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Tuukka Rask knows exactly how far great goaltending can carry a team in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Two years ago, he watched from the bench as Tim Thomas led the Bruins to the Cup with two months of superb postseason play.
Rask has filled Thomas' rather large skates quite well this season, but he has yet to prove that he is a championship-caliber goaltender.
If he can slow down Pittsburgh's dominant offense, he will carve out his own place in Bruins lore.
The 25-year-old goaltender has been strong through two rounds, with the exception of a Game 4 meltdown in New York City. His .928 save percentage and 2.22 goals-against average this postseason have him set to earn major money in the offseason, but the Bruins will feel a whole lot more comfortable committing their future to the young Finn if he helps to steal this series.
Opposite from Rask, the Pens will deploy Tomas Vokoun, who until recently backed up the struggling Marc-Andre Fleury. Vokoun has enjoyed a long career in the NHL, but has never tasted postseason success.
On paper, the Bruins should have the edge in the goaltending department, which could even the playing field in the series. However, the pressure will be on Rask to make sure that advantage translates to the ice.