BOSTON - Tuukka Rask did not hesitate when asked if he would play on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.
"Good to go," the Bruins netminder told the assembled media following Boston's optional morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena.
Rask missed the Bruins' 2-1 win over the New York Islanders Saturday night with a lower-body injury, but says he is recovered and set to suit up for as many games as he is called upon over the season's final two weeks.
"Things happen in the games and what not, so you can't really control them, but I feel good now and expect to play a lot of games coming up," said Rask, who is 33-20-4 with a 2.38 goals against average and .910 save percentage this season.
"This is what we play for. The games mean a lot and that's fine, that's the way it should be. It's going to come down to the wire again. Everybody seems to be in a good mood, ready to battle again tonight."
Video: Rask gets the call in net against Predators
Interim head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Rask would be the starter between the pipes.
"I don't even know how many games I've played, but I feel good," said Rask. "I think I've talked all along throughout the year, there's going to be ups and downs. You just try to stay even-keeled. It's something that you learn throughout the experience that you don't let yourself get too high or too low."
The biggest goal for Rask is to help return Boston to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
"It's a great feeling to play in the playoffs," said Rask. "This day and age, it's very tough to get in there in the first place because the league is so tight, every game matters a lot. I think we've felt that we have a great group of guys to get to that level.
"The last seven games we have to go out there and show that we're a playoff team and I think good things will happen. It just means a lot. We know how this city gets going when you make the playoffs. We just want to experience that again."
Krejci A Game-Time Decision
Torey Krug and David Krejci took their options during Tuesday's morning skate. Krejci is battling an upper-body issue and will be a game-time decision against the Predators, though Cassidy sounded optimistic about the center's chances of suiting up.
"He stayed off the ice this morning, got some treatment," said Cassidy. "I think he'll play, but he'll have to go through warmups and we'll go from there."
Liles Back In
Cassidy confirmed that John-Michael Liles would be back in the lineup Tuesday night, subbing in for Colin Miller on the blue line. Liles last played on Feb. 26 in Dallas.
"It's been a while," said Liles, who has five assists in 31 games this season. "Any time you can get back into the lineup and hopefully contribute to making the playoffs it's exciting. I'm no different than anyone else."
Having played just once over the last 19 games has not been easy for Liles, who has tried to stay positive and keep up on his conditioning.
"It's not easy. It's not fun," said Liles. "Everyone wants to play and everybody in this room and in this league are competitors. You want to play each and every night.
"It can get long sometimes, but for me I just made sure that I was trying to stay on top of my game when I could and just work as hard as possible so that hopefully my conditioning stays up."
Cassidy said the move was not an indictment on the play of Miller, but rather a chance to add some veteran experience to the back end during a crucial stretch.
"Being a veteran player will help [Liles], obviously he's been through some of this. He went in earlier in Dallas when he hadn't played and did a good job for us. We've stayed consistent on the back end…we're making a change," said Cassidy.
"Colin, going up to watch a game, I don't think will hurt him. He's a young guy, got to be careful with his confidence. But obviously at this time of the year, we just feel like John's a good fit tonight and see where it leads us….we're generally happy with Colin's play, we just want to kind of reset a little bit."