Tuukka Rask BOS morning skate 2

BOSTON -- The goalie on the ice for the Boston Bruins looked familiar.

With Jeremy Swayman not feeling well, the Bruins went back into the archives for a morning skate cameo by none other than Tuukka Rask on Thursday ahead of their game against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET; NESN, MSG-B, SNP, SNO, SNE).

The 36-year-old took the ice at Warrior Ice Arena in Bruins gear, including a mask bedecked with bear’s teeth and his last name in the colors of his native Finland, a retro moment for the all-time Bruins great who retired in February of 2022 after 15 seasons with them.

“Tuukka was good out there, wasn’t he?” coach Jim Montgomery said. “He hasn’t worked out in two years, he said.”

Though Rask declined to speak with reporters, offering only a “Happy Holidays,” as he strode through the dressing room, his presence caused a minor stir.

Tuukka Rask BOS morning skate 3

He was there only to help out, a practice emergency backup goalie (EBUG), with the Bruins calling up Brandon Bussi from Providence of the American Hockey League before the game against the Sabres. Rask did not serve as an EBUG on Thursday night.

“Unfortunately, Sway is ill and we’re going to keep him away from the team,” Montgomery said. “So, we will call up a goalie to back up tonight. But unfortunately it’s not going to be Tuukka.”

Still, the Bruins had fun with the appearance of their former goalie, who had a 308-165-66 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 564 games. He is now an ambassador for the Bruins.

“He was good,” forward Trent Frederic said. “I didn’t score on him. I shot at him twice, 0-for-2. It’s been two years since I scored on him. He looked good.”

In the Bruins dressing room, a goalie stall was set up for Rask in the empty spot between Swayman and Linus Ullmark, who will start against the Sabres. After the skate, the stall was set up as it had always been, with his equipment hung up, his pads standing tall and a spoked-B name plate that read “Rask.”

It didn’t match the other name plates, which are festooned with the Bruins’ centennial logo.

It had been sitting there all along, in Rask’s goalie bag, in the equipment area at Warrior Ice Arena for two years, just waiting for his return.