Tuukka Rask skated toward the bench for an extra attacker in the final minute of the Boston Bruins’ game against the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
The only problem was the game was tied.
Rask left the net before his teammates convinced him to rush back into the goal.
“It’s an entertainment industry I guess,” Rask said. “That’s what we’re trying to provide, entertainment for the fans. I’m sure people were shocked at first, but hopefully they got a good laugh out of that. I sure did.”
With the score tied at 2, and Boston possessing the puck in its own end, Rask headed toward the Boston bench thinking he’d be replaced by an extra skater.
“I just had to tell Jaro something real quick,” Rask joked, referencing Bruins backup goalie Jaroslav Halak. “I honestly thought we were down 2-1.”
Rask’s move sent a panic into the Bruins bench, and his teammates and coaches were unsure whether there was a delayed penalty or if Rask forgot the score.
“I figure it’s one of those two, right?” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You’d think he has access to the scoreboard, so I’d like to think [Rask thought] it was a delayed penalty. I think a couple of guys thought that on our bench.”
“I thought we had a power play [coming],” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. “I just saw [Rask] coming off. I was a little confused when [Rask] came back into the net, but luckily they didn’t capitalize on that opportunity. But I think [Rask] was trying to throw everybody off.”
Fortunately Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy was among the Bruins players to convince Rask to re-enter the goal.
“I was waiting for [Cassidy] to wave me over there,” Rask said. “I’m like why the heck is he not. There’s a minute-and-a-half left. He’s not waving me. Then I just decided to come when we had the puck. I think [McAvoy] told me ‘buddy it’s 2-2.'”
But no harm, no foul. Rask made 33 saves, and Marchand’s goal 36 seconds into overtime lifted Boston to a 3-2 win.
NHL.com staff writer Amalie Benjamin contributed to this story.