BOSTON (CBS) — On Monday, Tuukka Rask and David Pastrnak were both deemed “Unfit to Participate” in practice. But, as expected, they’ll both be on the ice for the Bruins in Game 1 against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
Both players participated in Boston’s optional morning skate on Tuesday, and head coach Bruce Cassidy later confirmed that Rask and Pastrnak will play against Carolina.
Rask will be in net, looking to start another postseason run with the Bruins. Rask didn’t play against Carolina during the regular season, but had loads of success against them in last season’s Eastern Conference Final. Boston swept the Canes en route to the Stanley Cup Final, with Rask sporting a .956 save percentage over the series. He stopped 109 of the 114 shots that came his way, and pitched a shutout in the deciding Game 4.
Pastrnak tallied an assist during his one regular season game against the Canes. He had a goal and three assists during last year’s sweep over Carolina.
The only change to the Boston lineup that Cassidy announced was that blue liner Matt Grzelcyk will be back in his normal spot on the B’s third defensive pairing alongside Jeremy Lauzon. Here are Boston’s projected lines heading into Game 1, which will begin around 8 p.m.:
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie — Charlie Coyle — Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom — Sean Kuraly — Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk — Jeremy Lauzon
Cassidy was asked about pundits who are picking the Canes to upset the Bruins, after Boston went winless in the round robin. The B’s head coach doesn’t care about predictions — just how his team plays when the puck drops Tuesday night.
“I don’t concern myself with predictions. We’ll be ready to play,” he said. “We came into this with the mindset that we would build toward Game 1, and our intention is to be in it for the long haul. We do have to improve areas of our game if we want to beat Carolina.
“This almost feels like a brand new season for obvious reasons,” added Cassidy. “So we have to prove it on the ice tonight.”
On the Carolina side, Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said that defenseman Dougie Hamilton is expected to play. The former Bruins blue liner missed Carolina’s play-in series against the Rangers with an undisclosed injury.