UPDATE (1:45 p.m. ET): Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said both Tuukka Rask and David Pastrnak were “unfit to participate” in Monday’s practice. However, Cassidy said he expects both players back on the ice Tuesday for Game 1 of Boston’s series with the Carolina Hurricanes.
ORIGINAL STORY: For one reason or another, the Boston Bruins can’t seem to get a full group on the ice for practice.
Boston has just one day before its first-round Stanley Cup playoff series vs. the Carolina Hurricanes begins, but the Black and Gold were without goaltender Tuukka Rask and first-line winger David Pastrnak at practice Monday, per the team’s Twitter account.
The reason for each absence is unknown. Head coach Bruce Cassidy is scheduled to speak with reporters later Monday afternoon.
With Pastrnak missing, Karson Kuhlman skated on the first line alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Here are the full lines, per the team:
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Karson Kuhlman
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie — Charlie Coyle — Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom — Sean Kuraly — Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk — Jeremy Lauzon
John Moore — Connor Clifton
It’s possible, of course, both Rask and Pastrnak got maintenance days after the former played the entire game Sunday while the latter played 19:57, most among Boston forwards.
The Bruins, who won the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best regular-season team, have struggled mightily during the NHL’s restart following the COVID-19 pause. Boston went winless in the round-robin games, falling from first in the Eastern Conference to fourth. Now, it gets a red-hot Hurricanes team that easily dispatched the New York Rangers in the qualifier round.