TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 15:  David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins waits for a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game on October 15, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Bruins 4-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Help on the way: Bruins get Pastrnak back, while Backes getting closer


The Boston Bruins will get David Pastrnak back from suspension tomorrow in Tampa Bay. Because of that, they announced this morning that forward Danton Heinen has been assigned to AHL Providence.

Heinen, a 21-year-old rookie, played seven games for the B’s, failing to register a point while skating mostly with center David Krejci.

Indeed, scoring has been an issue for the Bruins (4-4-0), who now have the 26th-ranked offense in the NHL. The B’s have won their last two thanks to the return of Tuukka Rask, but nine games into the season they only have four players with two or more goals: Brad Marchand (5), Pastrnak (4), Dominic Moore (3), and David Backes (2). Six others have one, the rest none, for a total of just 20 goals.

Backes has missed the last four games due to elbow surgery. He won’t play tomorrow in Tampa Bay, but the 32-year-old was back skating today in Boston, suggesting a return Saturday at home to the Rangers may be in the cards.

Tomorrow against the Lightning, Pastrnak could be reunited with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the top line, with Krejci centering a second line between Austin Czarnik and Ryan Spooner.

However they line up, the Bruins could really use some scoring beyond their few contributors to date. Wingers Matt Beleskey and Kevin Hayes have each been held pointless in their first nine games. Those two have mostly been centered by newcomer Riley Nash, who’s also been held pointless.

“There are some guys that aren’t where they should be production-wise,” said head coach Claude Julien, per CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty. “You hope it’s gonna come and they get their game where it should be.”

The return of Backes could help in one of two ways. First, he could play right wing with Krejci. Or two, he could center Beleskey and Hayes.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, he can’t do both.

As for Heinen?

“We saw some spurts of [creativity and offense] during the regular season, but in his case he probably needs to go down there, get better, get more confident and get stronger,” said Julien, per CSN New England. “We talked to him about that as far as getting better, but we’re certainly not unhappy with him. I thought he had a great camp and he’s going to be a great player for the future, whether it’s shortly or a little later. I think he has all the potential to be a good player in this league.”

Rask looks stellar again in Bruins victory

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 20:  Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins tends net against New Jersey Devils during the second period at TD Garden on October 20, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Brad Marchand and Dominic Moore scored to lead the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots to help the Bruins win their second straight after a three-game skid.

Denis Malgin scored for the Panthers and Roberto Luongo had 24 saves in Florida’s fourth loss in five games.

Trailing 2-0, the Panthers got on the scoreboard on Malgin’s first NHL goal with 4:35 left in the third when his shot from the slot beat Rask. It snapped the Bruins goalie’s shutout streak of 131:11.

The Panthers pulled their goalie with 3:20 left during a power play to give them a 6-on-4 advantage but couldn’t score.

The Bruins were outshot 13-3 in the first period but Marchand gave them a 1-0 lead with his goal on the penalty shot 3:53 in. Reilly Smith was called for hooking Marchand from behind. Marchand then skated in on Luongo and put the puck over his glove for his 300th NHL point.

The Bruins made it 2-0 on a short-handed goal by Moore at 6:16 of the second. Moore’s angle shot from below the left circle rolled in and out of the net so quickly that the goal light didn’t go off and play continued, but an official’s review a few seconds later determined the puck had crossed the goal line before it came out.

The Panthers were on the power play seven times but couldn’t score as they managed only six shots, and gave up the short-handed goal to Moore in the second.

NOTES: Florida RW Jaromir Jagr played in his 1,639th NHL game, tying him with Dave Andreychuk for sixth on the all-time list. … Panthers RW Jonathan Marchessault, 25, has been named the NHL’s third star for October, tying for the league lead with six goals and adding five assists in nine games. … Bruins RW David Pastrnak, who leads Boston with five goals, sat out the second of a two-game NHL suspension for a high hit against the New York Rangers.

Rask, Bruins snap Red Wings’ six-game winning streak

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 13:  Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins makes a save during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 13, 2016 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask made a little (admittedly specific) history on Saturday, and he also made the Boston Bruins sigh with relief.

By stopping all 24 Red Wings shots on goal, Rask earned his 31st shutout, tying Tim Thomas for third all-time in Bruins history.

Boston needed every one of those saves, too, as the Bruins were only able to beat red-hot Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard one time to win 1-0. Howard made 35 out of 36 saves, continuing Detroit’s remarkable early run of goaltending.

Speaking of remarkable early runs, the Bruins ended the Red Wings’ winning streak at six games with this result.

More relevant to the Bruins: they ended a three-game skid of their own, going to .500 at 4-4-0 in 2016-17.

That’s the kind of record some expected to see for a perceived bubble team, but some of those stumbles may be at least partially attributed to Rask’s injury-related absence. Their fortunes certainly look a little more promising with him – and this win – after tonight.

Bruins indeed got Rask back on Saturday

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 20:  Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins tends net against New Jersey Devils during the second period at TD Garden on October 20, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask is indeed in the Boston Bruins’ net for Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, and not a moment too soon.

Actually, maybe that’s up to debate; there’s at least some concern about rushing the highly valuable goalie back before he’s ready.

The Bruins have been a mess without Rask, dropping the last three games while allowing 14 goals (while scoring just four). Saturday begins a three-game road swing, so things could get uglier if they can’t get some relief.

You know things were going poorly when GIFs like these aren’t just sources of furry fun:

Goalie nods: Rask on track to return for Bruins

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 13:  Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins makes a save during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 13, 2016 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins are one of the teams that have had some injury issues in net this season and recently had to turn to a pair of rookies, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre. Playing behind an already shaky defense it hasn’t been the best combination.

Some good news could soon be coming as early as Saturday night.

All signs point to veteran goalie Tuukka Rask being ready to return to the lineup when the team plays the Detroit Red Wings.

When asked if Rask would be ready to return tonight, coach Claude Julien said, “I would suspect yes. He showed no indication that he wasn’t.”

Rask has only appeared in three games this season for the Bruins, but has a .947 save percentage and won all three starts. The Bruins have lost three games in a row without him.


— In that same game, Jimmy Howard will make his third start of the season for the Red Wings when he gets the call against the Bruins.

Marc-Andre Fleury will continue his streak of starting every game for the Pittsburgh Penguins this season when he gets the call in Philadelphia against the Flyers. Matt Murray is back and ready to go, but the Penguins are going to continue to go with Fleury who is coming off of a great game against the New York Islanders. No word yet on who will oppose him for Philadelphia.

— The Devils are going with their top guy, Cory Schneider, against Andrei Vasilevskiy from Tampa Bay.

Devan Dubnyk‘s shutout streak (back to back shutouts) is on the line against the Dallas Stars. He will be opposed by Kari Lehtonen.

— As should be expected, Carey Price gets the Saturday night start for Montreal against their rivals from Toronto. The Maple Leafs have not announced their starter.

— The Blues are going with Jake Allen against the Kings, while all signs point to Peter Budaj getting the call for Los Angeles.

— In Vancouver, the Canucks played last night with Ryan Miller in net so you can probably expect to see Jacob Markstrom get the start against Washington’s Braden Holtby.

Louis Domingue is expected to go for Arizona when the Coyotes host the Colorado Avalanche. No word yet on who the Avalanche are starting.

— Also no official word from the San Jose-Nashville game but you can probably count on a Pekka Rinne vs. Martin Jones matchup.