BRIGHTON, Mass -- Leading goal-scorer David Pastrnak has rejoined the Bruins group for practice, but is still at least a few days away from a return to game action. The 20-year-old right winger will miss his third straight game with an upper body injury suffered nearly 10 days ago when the Bruins host the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden on Tuesday night.
Pastrnak rotated into line rushes on the fourth line as Riley Nash manned the right wing spot with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on Boston’s top line, and stayed out for extra skating after the rest of the team. It’s been a number of days in a row on the ice for the explosive young forward, but Claude Julien said he wasn’t quite ready to play just yet.
“I just think he’s at the point where he’s not ready to play yet. When he is then he’ll be back in the lineup,” said Julien of Pastrnak, who leads the Bruins with 10 goals and still sits sixth among all NHL players despite missing five games this season already between suspension and injury. “He skated the last couple of days [on his own] and today with us, so like I said before he’s progressing…still day-to-day.”
Perhaps that will change when the Bruins play another back-to-back with a game in Ottawa on Thanksgiving night, and then another evening game on Black Friday at TD Garden against the Calgary Flames.
Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off the ice and should get the start vs. the Blues while Anton Khudobin will get at least one more start for the P-Bruins on his conditioning stint in Providence. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for the game vs. St. Louis based on Tuesday’s morning skate with a few line changes in the offing for the Black and Gold: