Tuukka Rask continues to make strong progress from his strained groin/abdomen injury and shouldered his heaviest practice load on Monday morning. While Claude Julien confirmed that Rask won't dress for Monday night's Game 3 (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET), against the Capitals, the Finnish netminder is optimistic he'll be back before the opening-round series is over.
"I've been anxious for six weeks. It can't get any worse than that, but it's all about staying patient," said Rask. "It's a process. When you first go out there you feel it out and then keep pushing it every day. It's been a week since I've gone out on the ice, we've pushed it and I continue to feel good."
Thomas won't be affected by Obama masks
Tim Thomas wasn't available for comment prior to Game 3, but his teammates and coaches said that the 37-year-old won't be affected by the Obama masks and White House signage Caps fans are expected to wear for the first game of the series in Washington D.C.
"They're going to be angry at him? I think everybody is angry at him because he's so good," said Rask, his goaltending partner of the last three years. "You guys know him almost as well as I do. He doesn't give a shoot about that stuff. It doesn't bother him at all."
Caps lead in blocked shots
The Capitals lead all playoff teams with 49 blocked shots after two playoff games, and they've clearly taken the Bruins by surprise with their hard-nosed willingness to front anything coming toward the net. Rookie netminder Braden Holtby has been great, but the players in front of him have been fearless in protecting the "house area" immediately in front of the cage.
"It's the playoffs and everyone is buying in," said Braden Holtby. "A lot of guys in here have been disappointed in the playoffs the past few years and you can tell that. The first thing is sacrificing the body, playing physical and blocking shots. You can tell we're committed to that and as long as we keep that going we'll be successful."
Expected line combinations
Alex Ovechkin - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom -- Alex Semin
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Jason Chimera
Keith Aucoin - Mathieu Perreault - Joel Ward
Cody Eakin - Jeff Halpern - Mike Knuble
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green
Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Brian Rolston-Chris Kelly-Benoit Pouliot
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon-Joe Corvo
Do you have improvements to suggest for this page?