An already banged-up Boston Bruins squad lost two more players during their 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders in Game 5. Both goalie Tuukka Rask and forward Curtis Lazar exited the game early and did not return.
Rask left the game after the second period and was relieved by rookie Jeremy Swayman who was making his first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Following the game, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that pulling Rask was not performance but rather health-related.
“There was some maintenance that needed to be done,” Cassidy said. “He wasn’t 100%. He wasn’t himself. He could have been back in. We made the decision not to put him back in.
Rask allowed four goals (three on the powerplay) on 16 shots. Swayman meanwhile, allowed one goal on three shots in the final 20 minutes of play.
Lazar laid a thunderous hit on New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock in the corner and as Pulock and Lazar fell to the ice, their legs appeared to get tangled up. Lazar got up slowly and labored as he skated off the ice and down the tunnel to the Bruins’ dressing room. The Bruins officially ruled Lazar out after the second period and no update was given during Cassidy’s postgame presser.
Curtis Lazar went down the tunnel after this hit on Adam Pelech: pic.twitter.com/GNEyelI4iK
— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) June 7, 2021
After finishing the regular season with seven goals and six assists in 50 games, Lazar has one assist in ten Stanley Cup Playoff games this postseason. He has been skating on the checking line for the Boston Bruins with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner. Lazar, along with Taylor Hall, was acquired by the Boston Bruins from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Anders Bjork and a 2022 second-round draft pick the night before the NHL Trade Deadline on April 11.
The Bruins and Islanders play Game 6 of the East Division Final on Thursday at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.