After missing the last three games of the Boston Bruins’ first-round series with the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, star wing David Pastrnak might be close to a return.
According to head coach Bruce Cassidy, the Maurice Richard Trophy winner on Tuesday skated again in practice for the third straight day, and even did a few battle drills.
And while Cassidy said his status for Game 5 on Wednesday evening is still questionable, the update he offered on Pastrnak is promising.
“Better than they were,” Cassidy said of the chance Pastrnak makes his return Wednesday night.
“He skated today, made it through practice, did a few battle drills. Some of that will depend on how he feels in the morning, if there’s residual effect. And then we’ll make a decision. The other day we thought he had an outside chance. Now I’d give it better than that. So, we’ll have to make a decision in the morning. Four o’clock game is tough. You go seven or eight, you get to test it out in the morning. That’ll be the challenge for the medical stuff, but if we feel he’s 100% – no risk of further injury, he’ll be in the lineup.”
Pastrnak was designated as “unfit to participate” after the opening game of the series against the Hurricanes, where the Bruins won 4-3 in overtime thanks to a game-winner from Patrice Bergeron.
Bergeron and Brad Marchand both sat out of practice Tuesday, but Cassidy expects the veteran duo to be active for Game 5.
“I would anticipate Bergy and March will be fine for tomorrow,” Cassidy said.
Of course, with a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series, the Bruins have some wiggle room to not rush anyone back.
Still, with a win Wednesday, Boston would send themselves to the second round.