David Pastrnak returned to the ice on Sunday morning in Toronto, skating for the Bruins during their optional practice that began at 11:15 am. Pastrnak missed both Games 2 and 3 of the team’s First Round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins were 1-1 without Pastrnak, and lead the series 2-1.
Pastrnak was a late scratch on Thursday night prior to Game 2. He appeared to aggravate an injury while celebrating Patrice Bergeron’s overtime goal in Game 1 on Wednesday afternoon.
Did Pastrnak re-aggravate his injury celebrating Bergeron’s goal? Watch 88 the entire time. https://t.co/NZem6ivulH
— Carolyn Mooney (@caramooney) August 13, 2020
On Friday, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said that David Pastrnak was a “possibility” for Game 3 on Saturday.
“Pasta did not skate (Friday), so I would say he could still possibly play [on Saturday],” Cassidy said in his media availability. “But with a 12 o’clock game, no real opportunity to test it in a morning skate like your typical 7 o’clock game, would make it difficult. We’ll make that evaluation in the morning.”
Pastrnak, of course, did not play.
Anders Bjork, Par Lindholm, Nick Ritchie and Jack Studnicka, who have all been in and out of the lineup early in the postseason, were also on the ice with Pastrnak for the optional skate on Sunday. “Black Aces” Trent Frederic and Zach Senyshyn also skated.
Defensively, the only regular on the ice was Jeremy Lauzon. Connor Clifton, who played on Saturday, was also on the ice, while Urho Vaakanainen and Jakub Zboril skated as “Black Aces”.
Dan Vladar, the team’s new backup goalie after Tuukka Rask’s opt out, and Maxime Legace were the goalies on the ice.
Cassidy spoke to reporters on Sunday afternoon after the optional skate. He touched on David Pastrnak, saying that the dynamic forward “briefly” skated on Sunday.
What does that mean for Monday night’s Game 4?
“That’s encouraging. He’s got his skates on out there,” Cassidy told reporters. “How does that bode for tomorrow? Not sure yet, probably a little premature. Let’s see how he does in the morning. I’d put him at, I don’t know, I’d say 50-50 at best right now. Of course, that could change over 24 hours.”
In addition to briefly skating, Cassidy also said that Pastrnak got some work done in the gym on Sunday morning.
Game 4 between the Bruins and Hurricanes is scheduled for 8:00 pm on Monday night.