Bruins not expected to have Rask against visiting Red Wings

By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange  |  March 6, 2018 at 12:08 AM
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Tuukka Rask has been in goal for all three Boston Bruins victories over the Detroit Red Wings this season, allowing five goals in the three games.

But Rask, apparently, will not be in net when the Bruins close the season series on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Rask, who missed Saturday night's 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens with what he called "a very minor injury," was not on the ice for practice Monday and will likely watch Anton Khudobin play Tuesday night.

"Tuukka is nursing a minor injury and he stayed off today," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Monday. "We'll keep an eye out on that one. Other than not having skated now for three days, it doesn't look like he'll be able to go tomorrow, but that's just an observation.

"He probably wants to get a little bit of work before he goes back in. Which we have a very capable backup, so that one we'll judge a little bit more tomorrow morning and see how he's feeling."

Khudobin was brilliant in his 14th win of the season Saturday, keeping his team alive long enough for a late regulation goal by Jake DeBrusk before Brad Marchand's dazzling winner in overtime.

The win lifted the Bruins to 3-0 on their six-game homestand -- and they start play on Tuesday six points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning (with three games in hand) atop the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins, who have won seven straight games against Detroit at TD Garden, rallied after losing rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy to a lower body injury on his first shift of the game. McAvoy reportedly was wearing a brace on his left knee when he showed up for the team picture Monday.

The Red Wings have little or no shot at qualifying for the playoffs. Their chances were severely dimmed after losing the last three games while scoring just five goals.

Detroit is 28th in the NHL in goals scored -- and faces the NHL's stingiest team next.

"We need to get those easy ones," Franz Nielson said after Sunday night's loss at Minnesota. "I think, again, we keep saying it, but we gotta get in there and make it hard on the other team's goalies."

The lack of scoring has left the team on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

Anthony Mantha, who leads the Red Wings in goals with 21, is, like his teammates, looking for more offense.

"Obviously, you want to score more," he said. "You always want to help the team more. From that aspect it's been good. I think it could be even better. This season's not over for sure, but obviously you want to score more goals to help the team win."

Khudobin has lost his only career start against the Red Wings. Detroit's Jimmy Howard is 5-6-2 with a 2.53 goals-against average and .922 save percentage lifetime against the Bruins.

Marchand, who scored the overtime goal in Boston's 3-2 win over the Red Wings on Dec. 13 in Detroit, fashioned a one-man effort for his winner Saturday -- the 10th goal of his career in the regular season. He had the puck on the left boards, carried it around the net, walked out front and scored, against a tired group of Canadiens.

"He does a great job (being strong on the puck)," Cassidy said. "That OT goal, that's all-world. To have it that long and then be able to finish, hell of a play."

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