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Tuukka Rask Returns To Bruins Practice On Thursday

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Tuukka Rask (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins didn’t get off to an ideal start to their post-Olympics schedule, but at least their starting goaltender is staying on schedule to return to game action.

Tuukka Rask, after not traveling with the team to Buffalo for Wednesday night’s game, was back on the ice in Wilmington for practice on Thursday.

Rask was given an extra day of rest after the Olympics, where he backstopped Finland to a bronze medal but also missed a game due to illness.

In Rask’s place, Chad Johnson started for the Bruins in Buffalo, and the backup netminder showed all the rust that is to be expected after nearly a month between starts. Johnson allowed five goals on 26 shots in the overtime loss, continuing his apparent issues in Buffalo. Johnson has an .831 save percentage and 3.71 goals-against average in three starts in Buffalo this year, which pales in comparison to his .932 save percentage and 1.99 GAA in his 15 other appearances.

Rask said he and his teammates are ready for a busy March schedule, when the Bruins will play 17 games, because they had plenty of busy months in last year’s lockout-shortened season.

“The good thing is we’ve been through it before and it’s nothing new for us,” Rask said Thursday. “We just have to approach it the right way and make sure we get our rest when we can, really, really dig deep in those games. I think we have five back-to-backs, so it’s going to be tough. But we’ve been through it before and we have the leadership here to get through it and finish off on the right note.”

While Rask was back on the ice on Thursday, many of his teammates were not, as the skate was optional.

The Bruins next play on Saturday at home against Washington.

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