Tuukka Rask is questionable for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Second Round at the New York Islanders on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
“He’ll get his treatment and we’ll find out tomorrow how he is and if he’s able to go or not,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Tuesday.
The Bruins goalie has been dealing with what Cassidy called “nagging” injuries and was pulled from Game 5 on Monday at the start of the third period after allowing four goals on 16 shots. Jeremy Swayman replaced Rask for the third period of the Bruins’ 5-4 loss.
The Bruins trail 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.
“I’m not going to second guess it,” Cassidy said of removing Rask. “It’s a decision we felt was the right one. We did it. We’re moving on and we’ll see who gets the net in Game 6.”
After Game 5, Cassidy had said he assumed Rask would be ready to play in Game 6. But Rask’s availability now is in question.
“There are certain things that stay in house here,” Cassidy said discussions pertaining to not starting Rask in Game 6. “We factored in a number of different things. First of all with Tuukka, we’re happy with his performance. He’s been better than he was yesterday, but we weren’t good enough in front of him as well. Let’s face it.
“We’re not dissatisfied with Tuukka’s play. There are some health issues. We know that he missed some time this year. We’re not going to get into them, where it’s at, all those, does it affect his game. There’s a lot of games in a row he’s played. So that, at some point, could be an issue in the playoffs. There’s a lot of things that go into it.”
Rask missed six games after holding his back at the end of a game against the New Jersey Devils on March 7. He returned to play one period against the Islanders on March 25, then was out another 11 games.
He returned April 15 and was 7-1-0 with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and two shutouts in his final nine starts. In 10 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he is 6-3 with a 2.20 GAA and a .925 save percentage.
If Rask can’t play, the Bruins likely will turn to Swayman, a 22-year-old rookie who made two saves on three shots in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut.
Swayman was 7-3-0 with a 1.50 GAA, a .945 save percentage and two shutouts in 10 regular-season games as he moved ahead of veteran Jaroslav Halak on the depth chart.
Prior to Monday, Swayman had last played May 11, in Boston’s regular-season finale.
The Bruins did not hold a full practice Wednesday ahead of their travel to New York, but Swayman was on the ice with the extra players.
“He’s always got to be ready,” Cassidy said. “He’s the No. 2.”
The Bruins will be without forward Curtis Lazar in Game 6. He sustained a lower-body injury during Game 5 when he went into the boards trying to hit Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech. There is no timetable for Lazar’s return.
Defensemen Kevan Miller and Brandon Carlo will also be out for Game 6. Miller will miss his seventh straight game with an undisclosed injury, and Carlo will be out for the third straight game because of an undisclosed injury.