BOSTON — Tuukka Rask wasn’t in uniform when the Bruins returned from their bye week and NHL All-Star break against the Jets on Tuesday night at TD Garden, but he could play by the end of the week.
The Bruins announced on Monday that their No. 1 goalie, who sustained a concussion in their last game on Jan. 19, had been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to that date. That makes Rask eligible to be activated immediately, but he didn’t practice on Monday, and the team announced that he would not play on Tuesday.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy indicated, however, that Rask is expected back soon.
“I don’t think it’s long-term,” Cassidy said.
The B’s recalled goalie Zane McIntyre from AHL Providence to back up Jaroslav Halak against the Jets. Boston hosts Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Rask, who was attempting to become the franchise leader in wins (he and Hall of Famer Tiny Thompson are tied at 252), was concussed with 1:28 left in the first period of the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Jan. 19 at TD Garden, when contact between B’s defenseman Charlie McAvoy and Rangers forward Filip Chytil launched Chytil into Rask. Chytil, who scored on the play, made direct contact with the goalie’s head and knocked him backwards into the net.
After a slow start that included a personal leave of absence that left him out of uniform for games on Nov. 10 and 11, Rask had found his form before the injury. He was on a 6-0-1 run that started after a 5-3 loss on Dec. 23 at Carolina, and his statistics (14-8-3, 2.43 goal-against average, .919 saves percentage in 26 appearances) are virtually identical to those of Halak (13-9-2, 2.47, .919 in 26 appearances).
Halak, who held the goaltending position together during Rask’s inconsistent start, has slumped as Rask has surged.
The Bruins made other transactions on Monday. Forwards Ryan Donato and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson were assigned to AHL Providence, while Peter Cehlarik and Trent Frederic were called up.