Bruins head coach Claude Julien was obviously impressed enough by Tuukka Rask’s 34-save performance in Columbus Tuesday to roll the dice with the netminder in a game against a team that’s higher in the standings.
Rask will start tonight against the Nashville Predators, who counter with their own Finnish netminder Pekka Rinne.
By going with Rask, Julien went against the advice of readers of TheBruinsBlog.net:
The Predators, as of the start of play tonight, aren’t a Western Conference playoff team, and they rank 26th in the league in offense. But they’re still a little stiffer competition for Rask, whose recent victories have all come against Columbus, Edmonton, Ottawa and the New York Islanders, with a loss to Montreal mixed in.
If he doesn’t play tonight but gets the start Saturday night in Toronto, Tim Thomas will play on seven days rest against the Maple Leafs.
While Rask got a second shot to play this week, Andrew Ference remained on the sidelines. And Michael Ryder moved into the lineup in place of suspended Brad Marchand. Here are the lines as per warm-ups: