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After facing shots, Tuukka Rask one step closer to being ready for Bruins

04.09.12 at 1:19 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins saw a familiar face on the ice Monday, as Tuukka Rask joined his teammates in their first practice in anticipation of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Rask has been out since suffering an abdomen strain/groin strain on March 3, and after being expected to miss 4-6 weeks, he seems to be on pace to be available should he be needed at some point in the postseason. After starting to skate last week, he faced shots for the first time on Monday.

“Good,” Rask said when asked how he felt after the practice. “It was good to get back on the ice with the guys and stop some shots, so it was all good.”

Rask didn’t look slowed by his injury Monday, as he moved around well and went into the butterfly position with ease.

The goalie wouldn’t say whether he thinks he’ll be on the bench for Game 1 against the Capitals Thursday, while Claude Julien said Rask remains day-to-day. The Finnish net minder was pleased with what he was able to get out of Monday’s skate, and said that he made every type of save he would need to make to feel ready without overdoing it.

“You don’t want to just go out there and hurt it again in the first practice,” he said. “I pretty much did everything I wanted to, so it was a good day.”

This injury was the first time in his Bruins career that Rask has been out for an extended period of time. While recovering, Rask said he spoke to teammates Andrew Ference and Greg Zanon, both of whom have had similar injuries in the past.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “It’s been a tough five weeks and a couple more days, just to stay out and not be able to go out with the guys and go on the road and stuff. It’s tough to not push it too much and just stay patient.”

Rask wouldn’t go into specifics regarding what his plan is in the coming days. He didn’t say whether he needs to ramp it up more, as he said is plan is to “just try to stop every puck.”

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Andrew Ference, Greg Zanon, Tuukka Rask
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