David Pastrnak expected to play in Bruins' exhibition game Thursday

Scott McLaughlin
July 29, 2020 - 4:32 pm

David Pastrnak now has three practices under his belt, and it appears that was enough to get him ready for some game action.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Wednesday that while nothing is finalized yet, he is leaning towards Pastrnak playing in the team's exhibition game against the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night.

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"The line looked good again (at Wednesday's practice)," Cassidy said. "I’ll have a discussion with him tonight at dinner. I think he wants to play. He’s ready to play. I just want to make sure we’re not rushing it. But at the end of day, I would suspect he’ll play. I’ll make the final decision in the morning, see him at the rink to double check, but that’s the way we’re leaning."

Pastrnak missed all but one day of the Bruins' two-week return-to-play camp before finally being cleared to practice with the team Monday in Toronto. On Tuesday, he confirmed to the media that he had to go back into quarantine after skating with non-NHLers at a rink in Malden, which violated NHL protocol.

Pastrnak's linemates, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, both said on Wednesday that Pastrnak has looked great and joked that it's actually them who have had to play catch-up.

"He's looking good," Bergeron said. "We have some catching up to do, to catch up to him. He's looking great. Looking like Pasta pretty much, like he didn't miss a beat."

"It was a little frustrating watching him come back and realizing how far behind him we are," Marchand said. "It's been a lot of fun having him back, even just his energy that he brings to the table every day."

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