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)
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Bruins indeed got Rask back on Saturday

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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)
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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.

Elsewhere…

— 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.

 

Get this: Bruins aren’t happy with Pastrnak’s suspension

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You’re not going to believe this, but the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers don’t see eye-to-eye on David Pastrnak‘s two-game suspension for a hit on Dan Girardi.

In discussing the decision, the NHL provided the following explanation:

“Rather than staying low and hitting through his opponent’s body, Pastrnak unnecessarily extends up and into this hit, picking the head and making it the main point of contact,” the Department of Player Safety explained.

Claude Julien provided the Bruins’ side of the argument, as CSNNE.com reports.

“To me I see a guy [in David Pastrnak] whose feet are still on the ice,” Julien said. “I just think that was an attempt to finish his check, but certainly not to injure.”

Julien insists that Pastrnak didn’t go “full-tilt.”

The Rangers, meanwhile, believe that it is the sort of check that needs to be eliminated.

“Initially when watching it, we didn’t feel it was the type of hit that the game wants, and the league took a stand,” Alain Vigneault said, according to Newsday’s Steve Zipay.

Now, if the roles were reversed, would we see Vigneault griping about a suspension and Julien backing it up? Perhaps.

Ultimately, what we know for sure is that the top-heavy Bruins will be without a red-hot performer in Pastrnak for two games.

Help on the way? Rask practices, could return during Bruins road trip

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 20:  Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins in goal against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on February 20, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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BOSTON (AP) The Boston Bruins have been outscored 14-4 during their current three-game losing streak. Help might be on the way just in time for the Bruins to start a difficult road trip against three Atlantic Division rivals.

Goaltender Tuukka Rask practiced with the Bruins on Friday and should be available to at least serve as the backup against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Rask hadn’t been on the ice with his teammates because of an undisclosed injury since he made 28 saves in a 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 20.

Rask isn’t completely healed so he and the Bruins are trying to strike a balance between being able to play and not risking further damage.

“That’s the thing we’re kind of talking about, we talked about last week, risk/reward, what it is and how should be proceed,” Rask said. “It feels good enough now that I can comfortably practice.”

Coach Claude Julien saw enough Friday to have confidence Rask could dress against the Red Wings and be in consideration to start. The Bruins were expected to send one of their other goaltenders, Zane McIntyre or Malcolm Subban, to Providence of the American Hockey League before departing for Detroit.

“If he’s great, and he practiced well today, and if he’s good (Saturday) and there’s no issues there (he can play),” Julien said. “He looked good to me today. So we’ll make that decision but I think we’ve gone this far, we’re going to make sure we make the right decision, not the reckless one.”

Rask started the season 3-0-0 for the first time in his career and had a 1.68 goals-against average and .947 save percentage. But he was hardly healthy. The injury began to bother him on opening night in a 6-3 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 13. Two nights later he didn’t start against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Rask said he felt fine when made 34 saves in a 4-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 17. But he had to battle through the injury against the Devils three nights later.

“The Jersey game was the toughest one. It wasn’t too tough. It’s just nagging, painful sometimes, but I didn’t feel like I hurt anything,” he said.

With forward David Backes still out after elbow surgery and forward David Pastrnak suspended two games for an illegal check to the head in the 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday, the Bruins needed some positive news before leaving for their road trip, which continues against the Florida Panthers (Tuesday) and Tampa Bay Lightning (Thursday) after Detroit.

“I’m excited to get back out on the road with this team,” Julien said. “You control what you can and we can control our enthusiasm, our commitment and everything else. And then go about our business that way and I think that’s all we can do right now.”

Rangers storm back, crush Bruins

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For the first half of Wednesday’s game in New York, everything was going pretty great for the Boston Bruins.

They not only had a two-goal lead, but rookie goalie Zane McIntyre was playing extremely well in his first NHL start as he filled in for injured veterans Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin.

And then everything kind of fell apart for him and the Bruins defense.

The Rangers stormed back for five consecutive goals on their way to a 5-2 win, handing the Bruins their fourth loss in seven games to start the season, and their second lopsided loss in a row.

This game was always going to be a struggle for Boston given the injury situation both in goal and up front (David Backes was also sidelined for this game) and the fact it was their second game in as many days.

But even though he gave up five goals on 29 shots, including one on a Kevin Hayes bank-shot from below the goal line, it is tough to put too much of this on the rookie McIntyre.

This loss was a total team effort.

The Bruins got into penalty trouble in the second period and the defense in front of their rookie was simply not good enough, something that is going to continue to be an issue for the rest of the season until the front office addresses the personnel.

That defense turned out to be a brutal matchup against a Rangers team that has some great forward depth and the floodgates finally started to open for them in the second half of the game.

Rick Nash opened the scoring for New York with a power play goal midway through the second period, and then added an assist later in the game to help put it out of reach when he set up rookie forward Jimmy Vesey for his fourth goal of the season.

Brandon Pirri, one of the many bargain free agent additions the Rangers made to their forward group over the summer, also added a pair of goals including the game-winner in the second period to break the 2-2 tie.

The Bruins have now lost three games in a row and have been outscored by a 15-4 margin.