BOSTON - The Bruins will have Tuukka Rask back between the pipes when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night at TD Garden. The netminder, who will be playing in his 400th NHL game, has missed the last three games because of a concussion suffered in practice last week.
"Tuukka is an unbelievable goalie and coming off injury, so we're gonna make sure we help him, especially at the beginning and get the two points," David Pastrnak said following the Bruins' pregame skate at Warrior Ice Arena on Saturday morning.
Video: Rask back between the pipes against L.A.
Having their ace back between the pipes will certainly help against the red-hot Kings, who enter tonight's action with an 8-1-1 record (tied for their best 10-game start ever) and the second-most points in the league. Veteran center Anze Kopitar is 12th in the league in scoring with 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists), while linemate Dustin Brown is enjoying a bounce-back season with 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in 10 games.
"They're playing good hockey and playing confident, but coming to our building we have to be ready for that and try to have a good start," said Pastrnak.
Cassidy said the plan is to deploy Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron against the line of Kopitar, Brown, and rookie Alex Iafallo.
"Clearly that's going to be an assignment tonight that we're gonna have to relish that challenge," said Cassidy. "I'm actually looking forward to it. As I said, it should be a real good matchup. You've got two of the best 200-foot centermen in the last generation to play the game matched up against each other, if it ends up like that."
- David Backes is one point shy of his 500th NHL point, while Brad Marchand is two goals shy of his 200th NHL goal.
- The Bruins and Kings are meeting for the 140th time in history, with Boston holding an 84-38-13-4 edge.
- The Kings have the first-ranked penalty kill in the league (92.3%), while the Bruins have the fourth-best power play (28.1%).
- Los Angeles leads the league in goals allowed (1.90 per game) and is eighth in goals for (3.50). Boston is 24th (3.38) and 10th (3.25), respectively.
Cassidy said, other than Rask, there would not be any changes to the lineup.
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Anders Bjork
Jake DeBrusk - David Backes - David Pastrnak
Tim Schaller - Sean Kuraly - Danton Heinen
Kenny Agostino - Riley Nash - Frank Vatrano
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Kevan Miller
Paul Postma - Brandon Carlo