Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will start Game 6 of the Stanley Cup second-round playoff game Wednesday against the Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y.
The Bruins are down 3-2 and facing elimination in the best-of-seven series. Rask was pulled in Game 5 on Monday, a 5-4 loss, after allowing four goals on 16 shots in the first two periods.
“He’s ready to go,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of Rask. “He’s our starting goalie and he’s healthy and ready to go. Let’s hope he’s on tonight and we’re better in front of him than in Game 5.”
Rookie Jeremy Swayman replaced Rask at the start of the third period and allowed one goal on three shots in his Stanley Cup playoff debut.
After Game 5, Cassidy hinted Rask would start, despite some nagging injuries
“First of all, with Tuukka, we’re happy with his performance,” Cassidy said. “He’s been better than he was [Monday], 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, 34, played in just 24 of the 56 regular-season games because of unspecified injuries. On the season, he had a 15-5-2 record with a 2.28 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage and two shutouts.
The 22-year-old Swayman played in 10 games in the regular season, posting a 7-3-0 record, a 1.50 GAA, a .945 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Bruins will play Game 6 without forward Curtis Lazar, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 5. Defensemen Kevan Miller and Brandon Carlo remain out with undisclosed injuries.
Game 7, if necessary, is scheduled for Friday night in Boston.