After leaving in the third period of his team’s 4-1 exhibition loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday, Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand was back on the ice Saturday at practice. However, goalie Tuukka Rask, who has been playing with a fractured finger throughout training camp was not present at practice Saturday and his status for tomorrow’s round-robin opener against the Philadelphia Flyers is unknown.
“He wasn’t feeling well, so unfit to participate today,” said Cassidy. “As an afternoon question tomorrow, the natural next question is ‘will he start?’ I’ll have to talk to Tuukka later and see where he’s at. If [Rask can’t play] then Jaro [Halak] will be ready to go.”
Marchand – who Cassidy expects to be ready to play tomorrow – had no points or shots in 13:55 on ice Thursday. Rask stopped 17 of 20 shots in 25:30 before Halak took over. Rask has been playing with a fractured finger on his glover hand but there was no word if that was why he missed practice and could miss the game Sunday afternoon against the Flyers.
Halak assumed the starting duties in practice Saturday and was backed up by Maxime Lagace. Meanwhile, Marchand was back on the left wing of the Bruins’ top line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak who scored the lone goal for the Bruins.
Bruins winger Ondrej Kase, who has practiced just once (July 15) since camp began on July 13, was absent from practice again but after missing six straight practices, winger Nick Ritchie returned to the ice. Ritchie also salted in the optional skate prior to the exhibition on Thursday. Ritchie split time with rookie Jack Studnicka on the second line Saturday. Karson Kuhlman once again saw time on the left wing of the third line, splitting time with Sean Kuraly.
Here’s what the lineup looked like Saturday at practice:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Studnicka/Ritchie
Kuhlman/Kuraly – Coyle – Bjork
Nordstrom – Lindholm – Wagner
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Lauzon
Moore – Clifton