After winning five consecutive playoff games, the final games four in the first round against the Washington Capitals and Game 1 of the East Division second-round series against the New York Islanders Saturday night, Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was on top of his game in each of the five wins.
Monday night, the veteran goalie playing in his 100th postseason game gave up four goals, three in the second period, then the game-winning tally on a breakaway goal to Casey Cizikas in overtime. With the 4-3 victory, the Islanders evened the best-of-seven series at 1-1 as the series shifts to Long Island for Games 3 and 4.
Tuesday morning, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy met with the media and had an update in regards to the health of his top goalie following the OT loss the night before.
Well, that doesn’t sound too good now, does it?
Of course with the Stanley Cup playoffs now in full swing, it’s not uncommon for players to be playing and fighting through injuries this time of the season. It’s the nature of the sport. However, with that little bit of news leaking this morning, what happens going forward Thursday night?
Unless something happens between now and then expect Rask to be back between the pipes in Game 3. If things get ugly early, does Cassidy have to think about making a move to backup and rookie Jeremy Swayman?
After watching the first seven playoff games, unless you knew that something was bothering Rask, you would never think anything was wrong. He looked sharp, aggressively challenging shots, making quick reaction saves, and nine of the first 13 goals that he gave up were either tipped or deflected in off a Bruin. He has given up 16 goals in total following last night’s game.
In seven games this postseason, Rask had a 2.06 goals-against average (GAA) with a .930 save percentage (SV%). He had 35 saves in Monday night’s overtime loss. Tuesday, it was revealed that he’s battling nagging injuries. Expect to see the former Vezina Trophy winner in the net at the Nassau Coliseum Thursday night for Game 3 or Swayman gets his first playoff crack in the NHL.