Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask says ’It just feels like an exhibition game’ with the playoffs taking place in empty arenas. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Tuukka Rask seemed nonchalant when asked about the playoff atmosphere – or the lack of it – after Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference opening-round series.

Boston’s veteran goalie admitted he is not thrilled with empty stands and hub cities, and is certainly not in playoff shape, even though the playoffs are here.

“To be honest with you, it doesn’t really feel like playoff hockey because there, there’s no fans. It’s kind of like you’re playing an exhibition game,” said Rask.

“Obviously, you’re playing a best-of-seven series, so there’s going to be some battles going on and what not. But when you play at your home rink (or) you play at an away rink and there’s fans cheering for you or against you, and that creates another buzz around the series. There’s none of that, so it just feels dull at times.”

The Bruins and Hurricanes are tied 1-1, with Game 3 on Saturday at noon. And Rask knows he is not yet at the top of his game.

“Considering I had four months off, not in prime shape, but trying to get there,” said Rask, who made 23 saves in Thursday’s loss. “I’m just trying to have fun and play the game. I’m not stressing too much about results and what not. It’s August and I haven’t played hockey in forever. Just go out there and have fun and see what happens.”


He’s the Bruins’ all-time leader in victories, and he’s led the Bruins to two Stanley Cup finals.

BRUINS COACH Bruce Cassidy was hopeful that David Pastrnak, who missed Thursday’s Game 2 loss to Carolina would be back for Game 3, but didn’t expect to know Pastrnak’s status until shortly before the noon start.

Pastrnak was in the stands wearing a mask during the game. Cassidy said Pastrnak had been questionable since the end of Wednesday’s game when it seemed he injured himself jumping up during the postgame celebration after the 4-3, double-overtime win.

“He was getting treatment, unfit to participate. We don’t believe it will be long term. It’s a day-to-day thing, we hope. We’re targeting Saturday at noon,” Cassidy said. “It’ll probably be right down to the game time on Saturday.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.