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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuukka Rask and Nathan Horton emerge off a missing persons poster and help the Bruins put a bow on a solid road trip

It wasn't always pretty (namely the two third period leads that disappeared and led to shootout losses) but after last night's 2-1 win in Toronto, the Boston Bruins wrapped up a pivotal five-game road trip with a 3-0-2 record.

In the process, they just might have saved head coach Claude Julien's job while also showing that they're still a team to be feared in the Eastern Conference.

The biggest developments out of the Air Canada Centre last night were the reemergence of two Bruins (21-11-6) who have been scuffling (to be kind): Tuukka Rask and Nathan Horton.

Rask has not been himself all season and it hasn't helped that Tim Thomas has been playing out of his mind so his playing time has been sporadic at best. The Fin had 36 saves last night, shutting down the Maple Leafs (14-20-4) which is always doubly nice since we still own one more first round draft pick from them (having already used their last first round pick on Tyler Seguin) in the ill-fated Phil Kessel deal.

Mikhail Grabovski gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 14:08 in the first period after a flipped pass from Luke Schenn led to a breakaway.

Horton answered at 7:56 in the second period with his first goal in nine games. He was assisted by Dennis Seidenberg as the husband of a Playboy playmate (really) worked into the middle of the offensive zone and ripped one of his hard snap shots, that for once didn't ring off a post.

Probably the third guy from the invisible trio, Marc Savard, also stepped up with the game-winning goal less than eight minutes later. With Milan Lucic (who assisted) in front of Toronto goaltender James Reimer, Savard took a pass from Horton at the blue line and fired a screened shot.

That's all it took to get the two points although Rask had to make a couple top-notch saves to end it.

The Bruins come home to face the Minnesota Wild on Thursday at the TD Garden.

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