BOSTON — Unlike Thursday morning, when he walked off the ice after the morning skate shortly before Tim Thomas (who got the start and beat Washington), Tuukka Rask was off well ahead of anyone else today at TD Garden.
So it’s almost a certainty Rask will get the start in net for the Bruins against the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. tonight.
Rask has not played in a game since he lost the season-opener Oct. 9 to Phoenix in Prague. But against the Rangers, a team he has a 1.34 career goals-against average against, Rask feels like he’ll be ready.
“You almost try to practice like it’s a game situation and try not to think too much,” said Rask, who was last year’s NHL leader in GAA and save percentage. “Just go out there and practice and pretend like it’s a game. And don’t let things get into your head too much. Just stay focused, just stay sharp throughout the weeks and try to be ready. That’s all.”
Rangers head coach John Tortorella confirmed that Henrik Lundqvist will be in net for his club. Lundqvist, who has dominated the Bruins to the tune of a 1.39 GAA and 13-4-0 record all-time, hasn’t played since Oct. 18 against Colorado. Lundqvist’s backup Martin Biron started the lone Rangers game since then and beat Toronto Thursday.
“It’s just repeating stuff that we do all year,” said the star Rangers puck-stopper about keeping sharp during the down time. “That’s what it comes down to.”
Tonight at 7 p.m., the Bruins-Rangers game might come down to which goaltender can shake off any rust quicker than the other.