Buffalo Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski stops Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk in the second period Tuesday night in Buffalo, N.Y. Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tuukka Rask missed 17 games through March and April. He’s healthy and well-rested now, and showed the Boston Bruins he can be a difference maker down the stretch.

Rask recorded his first shutout of the season and extended the Bruins’ winning streak to five games in a 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Rask made 32 saves, including a highlight-reel save on Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens in the first period that helped give the Bruins their seventh win in nine games.

“It’s just half-skill, half-luck I guess,” Rask said. “It’s kind of desperation more than that at that point when you can’t push over to that side so you just throw anything at the puck you can and hopefully it hits you and today it did.”

Rask has 51 career shutouts and earned this one after making 17 saves in the third period to secure the victory. Rask is 3-0-0 in his last three starts since returning from an upper-body injury on April 15.

“I think he was our best player, it goes without saying,” Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We expect him to shut the door when need be.”

The Bruins closed out the game killing off 1:33 of a six-on-three Sabres power play after penalties 27 seconds apart with 2:34 left to play. Rask only needed to make one save before the Sabres took a penalty for too many men on the ice.

“It was not what we wanted,” Sabres interim head coach Don Granato said. “It was not competitive enough, there was not enough net focus and net drive. So, no question it was disappointing. And we will look at that and it will be easy to learn from that.”

Brad Marchand and Connor Clifton scored for Boston, which held on to fourth place in the Eastern Division.

Marchand opened the scoring at 8:06 of the first period with his 24th goal of the season.

Clifton’s first goal of the season made it 2-0 Boston at 3:03 of the second period.

Dustin Tokarski made 35 saves for Buffalo. In his eight starts with the Sabres this season, he has made 30-or-more in six games.

NOTES: Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk returned to action after he missed the previous five games with an upper-body injury.


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