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Rask Practices in Full for First Time Since Concussion

Netminder suffered head injury in final game before bye week

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - Tuukka Rask was back on the ice for practice on Wednesday morning, 11 days after suffering a concussion during a nasty collision with New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil on Jan. 19.

Rask skated on his own for the last two days, before joining the full group for Wednesday's session at Warrior Ice Arena. Should he get through Thursday's morning skate without incident, the netminder is likely to be between the pipes against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden.

"Good chance," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said when asked if Rask would play against Philly. "Normally I'll announce the day before, let's see how he does in the morning. It was his first full practice. We want to make sure there's no fatigue and whatnot. He missed some time. Assuming he's ready to go and feels good, good chance he'll get in. If not, then certainly Sunday [in Washington]."

The Bruins' nine-day break for the bye week and All-Star Game certainly benefitted Rask and helped him limit the amount of game action he missed. Rask, who said he felt almost too fresh during practice, sat out Tuesday's loss against Winnipeg, with Jaroslav Halak getting the start in goal.

"I didn't have too bad of headaches, it was just mostly sickness and nausea, that was the biggest part of it. Good thing about it was we had the break," said Rask, who vacationed with his family in the Carribean. "If you're laying under the sun for five days, you're gonna feel a whole lot of nothing. I think that was probably the best thing for it."

Video: Rask discusses recovery from injury

Rask described the violent impact as causing his neck to snap back and result in a whiplash affect. He does not think his head hit the ice or the post.

The 31-year-old also does not believe the play was avoidable. With Chytil charging hard to the net, Charlie McAvoy approached and tried to make a play to swat the puck away, but the slight contact caused Chytil to careen into Rask in the crease.

"Didn't see it coming at all…so surprising, nothing you could do," said Rask, who suffered a concussion during a similar collision with Aners Bjork in practice last October . "Originally I thought he just tried to jump and avoid contact, but Chuckie tried to make a play coming across. I saw that after. It's just one of those things, guy's obviously trying not to hit you and the D-man is trying to make a play.

"It's just timing, a split second off and you get the worst part of it. It's just a hockey play. I think unfortunately, the way the game's played these days, it's so fast, a lot of that speed is built up through the neutral zone.

"If a couple guys are in the wrong position then the other guy is trying to make up for that other guy and it's a perfect storm. That's kind of what happened."

Double Switch

Cassidy also said that Joakim Nordstrom and John Moore will both return to the lineup on Thursday night against the Flyers. Nordstrom has missed the last 10 games after suffering a broken fibula in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. Moore has been a healthy scratch on the back end for five of the last six contests.

Noel Acciari and Matt Grzelcyk will be the scratches against Philly.

Video: Cassidy gives update on Rask, Thursday's lineup

Wednesday's Practice Lineup

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Peter Cehlarik - David Krejci - Jake DeBrusk
Danton Heinen - Trent Frederic - David Backes
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly/Noel Acciari - Chris Wagner

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
John Moore - Kevan Miller
Matt Grzelcyk - Steven Kampfer

Tuukka Rask
Jaroslav Halak
Zane McIntyre

Video: Trent Frederic goes 1-on-1 to discuss debut

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