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Rask expected to start for Bruins against Flyers

Goalie, who missed one game with concussion, can pass Thompson for Boston wins record

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask is expected to start for the Boston Bruins when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS, NESN, NBSSP+, NHL.TV).

The goalie practiced with the Bruins on Wednesday for the first time since sustaining a concussion in a collision with New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil in the first period of a 3-2 loss Jan. 19.

"Tuukka's going to start," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "He's out there. Assuming there's no ill effects [after the morning skate], he's a go.

"We trust him. If he's not ready, that's fine. He's coming off a pretty serious hit there. But when he's ready, we said he'd go back in and that's about it."

Rask's next win will be the 253rd of his NHL career and give him sole possession of first place on the Bruins all-time list, breaking a tie with Tiny Thompson.

Thompson was 252-153 with 63 ties; Rask is 252-145-56, including 50 extra-time wins (26 overtime, 24 shootout).

Video: NYR@BOS: Rask denies Namestnikov with glove

Rask, 14-8-3 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 26 games (25 starts) this season, left the game after the hit against the Rangers. Boston was off the next nine days because of its mandated five-day break prior to the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves for the Bruins in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

Rask postponed his Caribbean vacation by one day because of the weather, not because of his health, and said the time away did some good.

"I didn't have too bad of a headache, it was just motion sickness and dizziness, that was the biggest part of it," Rask said. "The good thing about it was that we had the break, so if you're lying out in the sun for a few days, you're going to feel a whole lot of nothing. I think that was probably the best thing for it."

The Bruins returned to practice Monday without Rask, who skated on his own before the morning skate Tuesday and was not in uniform against the Jets.

Rask skated on his own Wednesday before joining his teammates for their regularly scheduled practice.

"It's great," defenseman Charlie McAvoy said. "I've been talking to him and asking him how he's doing. Obviously I went through a concussion at the beginning of this year and they're really scary. … I'm just really happy that he's feeling good because I've seen firsthand how it can be when you don't turn the corner as fast as you'd like to.

"He's a gigantic part of our team. Huge. It really all starts with him and [Halak], those guys in the back. To have him back is awesome and it's really encouraging for us to see that."

The Bruins (27-17-6) hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and are one point behind the Montreal Canadiens for third place in the Atlantic Division.

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