Ready or not, Eddie Lack entered Tuesday's game as the No. 1 goalie for the Canucks, at least for the next 4-6 weeks. Based on his performance, Lack was certainly ready for the task ahead.
After making 27 saves against the Islanders on Sunday when Ryan Miller left with a lower body injury, Lack turned in a masterful game against the Boston Bruins, making 40 saves as the Canucks (35-22-3) came out on top in a 2-1 win.
Miller will be out for the next 4-6 weeks, so Vancouver's playoff chances will likely rest on Lack's shoulders. If he comes up with similar results as Tuesday's win over the Bruins (29-22-9), the Canucks should be just fine. In fact, Lack might just have himself a new nickname after his recent performance in net.
Has anyone called @eddielack the Lack-ness monster? Because if not, I don't even— Sir Canuckles (@SirCanuckles) February 25, 2015
After stopping 20 shots in the second period alone, Lack was rewarded in the third period when Zack Kassian scored the game-winning goal at 6:57. After a shot by Daniel Sedin rebounded off Rask and ricocheted off the boards, Kassian skated over to blast a shot off the post and in, giving Vancouver a 2-1 lead. In the past month, Kassian has been the hottest scorer for the Canucks with 10 points (7-3-10) in his last 10 games.
Lack made many impressive saves on the night, but none were as impressive as the one he made after being steamrolled by Carl Soderberg during the second period. With Soderberg on top of Lack, the Canucks goaltender somehow reached out his left arm to deny Daniel Paille of his second goal of the night and keeping the game tied at 1-1.
Not a penalty (but VAN got away with one literally seconds later so yeah) pic.twitter.com/SM7Vlsy2PU— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) February 25, 2015
Daniel Paille opened the scoring for the Bruins, backhanding the puck past Eddie Lack just 65 seconds into the game. After a shot from Patrice Bergeron deflected up into the air, Lack slid over to his right to follow the puck. Paille found some open ice on the opposite side of the net for just the second goal in his last 72 games.
Vancouver answered right back when Ryan Stanton blasted a slap shot past Tuukka Rask off a drop pass from Jannik Hansen. Stanton's third goal of the year tied the game at 1-1 just 2:23 after Paille's goal.
The Bruins had a pair of power plays in the second period, but despite a number of good scoring chances, couldn't come away with anything. Eddie Lack came up with save after save while the Bruins couldn't capitalize on any of their rebound opportunities in front of the crease.
Eddie's rebound control tonight is like milk on its expiry date. I'm unsure of it and slightly scared of it.— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) February 25, 2015
The Bruins had several chances to either tie the game or take the lead while on the power play during the night, but the Canucks' penalty kill returned to their elite form, stopping 12 shots on goal with the Bruins on the man advantage, including 11 during the second period alone.
The Bruins had no answer for Kassian's third period goal. Their best chance came when Torey Krug sent in a shot from the point that sparked a frenzy in front of Eddie Lack, with every other Bruin on ice trying to chop in the puck. Lack hung on just long enough to prevent the game from going into overtime as the Canucks came out on top.
Vancouver will look for their third straight win on Thursday when they face the Buffalo Sabres. In the only previous meeting between the two teams this year, the Canucks came out on top in a 5-2 win at Rogers Arena on January 30. The game was supposed to mark Ryan Miller's return to Buffalo, where he spent 11 seasons with the Sabres, but instead, Eddie Lack will look to continue to keep up his hot streak.