Bruins Notes: Tuukka Rask Likely To Play Game 3; David Pastrnak Not So Much?


Aug 14, 2020

There will be changes to the Boston Bruins lineup on Saturday, but it likely won’t be in net.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Friday he expects Tuukka Rask will start Game 3 of their Stanley Cup playoff first-round series with the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. For Rask, it will be his third start in four days after Game 1 was postponed to Wednesday and Game 2 was played Thursday night.

“He didn’t skate (Friday), but a lot of guys didn’t. It’s a quick turnaround, three games in (four) days, (but) we anticipate he’ll start,” Cassidy announced in a video call with reporters Friday.

Rask, who made news for his postgame comments likening the playoff games in the bubble to exhibition games, has not had stellar numbers through the first two games of the series. Rask allowed three goals on 28 shots in Boston’s Game 1 double-overtime win before also giving up three on 26 shots in a Game 2 loss.

“His game yesterday I thought there were some good goals, some good shots,” Cassidy said. “Obviously, with the one-goal games, each goalie they need to make the extra save somewhere along the way. We didn’t get it, and they did. The opposite was true the game before in a one-goal game. That’s the way I look at it. Obviously, I think his game can grow — like all of our games. The goaltending position is probably a tougher one with that long of a layoff to get yourself up to speed. Not a lot of room for error, so I do understand that with all the goalies coming back in that situation. He’s no different. We know he can play better. Hopefully, we’ll be better in front of him, and hopefully, he’ll give us the extra save and it will work out in our favor.”

More Bruins: Bruce Cassidy Begins Press Conference With Heartfelt Message For Claude Julien

Here are some more notes from Thursday’s media availability. 

— The Bruins were without David Pastrnak, who was a late scratch, in Game 2. It’s fairly evident Pastrnak’s absence is injury-related and not COVID, as he was in the building for Thursday night’s game. Cassidy said it’s possible Pastrnak returns for Game 3, but the early start time (noon ET) complicates matters.

“He didn’t skate today, so I would say he could still possibly play tomorrow, but with the 12 o’clock game, there’s no real opportunity to test it in a morning skate like your typical (night) game. We’ll make that evaluation in the morning.”

— Independent of the Rask and Pastrnak situations, Cassidy said there will be lineup changes.

“We’ve thought it through. We had some guys go on the ice today. There’s always a day-to-day bumps and bruises, so to sit here and tell us our lineup (now) may be inaccurate because of that, but we’ll be making some changes at forward and (defense). Again, some of that is to get some energy in the lineup and change the look of our forward group.”

— Here’s who skated Friday in Toronto.

— It wouldn’t be surprising to see Connor Clifton draw into the lineup and replace Jeremy Lauzon on the blue line. Clifton got a game in the round-robin contests and does represent a potential injection of energy. Up front, perhaps Jack Studnicka could enter the lineup after getting some run in the round-robin opener. It’s also possible Cassidy shakes up his fourth line, perhaps moving up Sean Kuraly, which likely would open a spot for Par Lindholm.

— Bruins captain Zdeno Chara got a chance to send well wishes to Montreal Canadiens head coach and former Bruins bench boss Claude Julien, who is home in Montreal recovering after being admitted to a Toronto hospital for chest pains.

“I hope he’s OK,” Chara said on a video call with reporters Friday afternoon. “I hope he’s doing better, and hopefully his family is somewhere near or hopefully with him. I wish him nothing but a fast and full recovery. Hopefully, he gets back behind the bench and doing what he loves to do, obviously coaching. It’s a little bit scary to hear one of your friends and coaches is being hospitalized.d I’m wishing him all the best, a full speedy recovery and we see him behind the bench soon.”

More Bruins: Zdeno Chara Doesn’t Sound Concerned With Tuukka Rask’s ‘Exhibition’ Comments

Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images
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