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Rask sustains concussion in Bruins game against Rangers

Goalie leaves in first period following collision with Chytil

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask sustained a concussion with 1:28 remaining in the first period of the New York Rangers' 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Saturday.

The Bruins goalie was hit by Filip Chytil after the Rangers forward scored to tie the game 1-1. Rask was replaced by backup Jaroslav Halak.

Rask remained down for a few minutes, his mask off, as he was attended to by the trainer. He was eventually helped off the ice by defenseman Charlie McAvoy and forward David Pastrnak, and he immediately headed down the tunnel to the dressing room.

As Chytil skated hard toward the net from the right, McAvoy stepped in his path.

"I think contact there is unavoidable," McAvoy said.

The defenseman said he wasn't sure what part he played in the contact, believing Chytil would have hit Rask no matter what he did.

"I think it turned into really a 2-on-1 and I tried to just take away the pass," McAvoy said. "He brought it to the net and he jumps there. I had two hands on my stick. I don't feel like I shoved him at all. Just unfortunate. It [stinks]. You hate to see it. Obviously Tuukka's a huge part of our team."

McAvoy said he did not have a chance to speak to Rask.

"It was scary," McAvoy said. "He went down. He seemed down and out. I saw it firsthand, the force that that guy went right into him so it didn't look good right away. Just wanted to make sure that he was OK and he came back to. Got him off the ice, and just hopefully he's feeling alright right now."

Video: NYR@BOS: Chytil uses speed to pot goal

If anyone, McAvoy understands what Rask might be going through. McAvoy missed 20 games this season with a concussion.

"You don't wish that on their goalie; you don't wish that on anyone," McAvoy said. "[Chytil] goes in a million miles an hour, he hits him. Like I said, it looked like unavoidable contact. Obviously Tuukka took the brunt of that. There's no way for him to prepare. He's doing his job. He's trying to focus on the puck, and the culmination of that play is just unfortunate."

The Bruins were not placing any blame for the injury.

"I don't think there's intent to hit the goalie. I think that's rare," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "There's probably a player or two that tries not to get out of the way, for sure. I don't think this kid tried to hit him. I think he did hit him."

The small benefit for the Bruins is the game marked the start of their five-day break. Paired with the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Saturday, the Bruins do not play again until Jan. 29, when they host the Winnipeg Jets.

"The timing is probably the best it's ever going to be if you're going to have this injury because you do have [10] days before you play again," Cassidy said. "But there is no good timing. Having said that, who knows how it will play out for him? It's unfortunate."

Rask tied Tiny Thompson for the Bruins all-time record for goalie wins on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues with 252. But for now, the Bruins are just focused on making sure Rask is healthy as he goes through the NHL concussion protocol.

"You're obviously very concerned any time a teammate gets hit like that," forward Brad Marchand said. "He didn't look great coming off. It's nerve-wracking."

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