Tuukka Rask out for Bruins’ playoff opener

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Tuukka Rask was supposed to start for the Boston Bruins in their playoff opener against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Now, he won’t be playing.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday that Rask is still feeling under the weather and was deemed unfit to participate, according to WBZ’s Dan Roche. 

Backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak will get the start in goal for Boston, though the organization is not the slightest bit worried. Boston’s top goaltending prospect, Dan Vladar, will back up Halak. 

Halak has had another stellar season with the Bruins, and it earned him a one-year extension worth $2.25 million. The 34-year-old went 18-6-6 with a .919 save percentage, 2.39 goals-against average and three shutouts. 

However, Halak lost both of his starts to the Flyers this season before the coronavirus pandemic halted the campaign. Both losses came via the shootout, which Boston was horrible in this season. 

The Bruins would love to come out of the Eastern Conference with the No. 1 seed, but seeing as how they’ve already made the playoffs, it’s better off that they take things slow with players like Rask who aren’t feeling well. 

On top of Rask not starting, Boston’s trade deadline acquisitions, Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase, will be out of the lineup. The duo, whom Boston acquired via trade from the Anaheim Ducks, haven’t had as much time to practice as their peers. Kase only recently joined the organization in Toronto, while Ritchie has been an enigma, missing multiple practices. 

The Bruins’ playoff opener against the Flyers begins at 3 p.m. ET. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. Although many think Boston sports fans are insufferable, Erin tries to see things from a neutral perspective. Her passion is hockey, and she believes defense wins championships. In addition to covering sports for Yardbarker, she covers Boston sports for NBC Sports Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90