David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask 'unfit to participate' in Bruins' lone practice before Game 1

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The Bruins only have one full practice before Game 1 against the Hurricanes Tuesday night, and two of their top players were not on the ice for it.

Right wing David Pastrnak and goalie Tuukka Rask were both absent Monday. According to coach Bruce Cassidy, they were both "unfit to participate." Cassidy added that he expects both to be on the ice Tuesday, though.

That's obviously slightly more concerning than if it had just been a "maintenance day" for both, but it's encouraging that Cassidy expects it to just be a one-day absence.

With "unfit to participate" just being the NHL's catch-all term for anything that causes a player to not be on the ice, it's hard to guess at what the issues could be. It could be a minor injury, or it could be a delayed or inconclusive COVID-19 test result, something the Bruins have run into a few times over the last few weeks.

Rask played the full game Sunday against the Capitals and Pastrnak took his regular shifts right up to the end of the game, so that would seemingly support the idea that there's at least no serious injury here.

Karson Kuhlman skated in Pastrnak's spot on the top line Monday, which also supports the idea that the Bruins expect to have Pastrnak back Tuesday. If it was something that might cause him to miss game time, the Bruins would probably be more likely to put Anders Bjork or Ondrej Kase on the top line, with Kuhlman likely slotting into the third line.

#NHLBruins practice lines:Marchand – Bergeron – KuhlmanDeBrusk – Krejci – KaseRitchie – Coyle – BjorkNordstrom – Kuraly – WagnerLindholmChara – McAvoyKrug – CarloGrzelcyk – LauzonMoore – CliftonHalakVladarAbsent: Rask, Pastrnak. pic.twitter.com/oXKWOPIkXI

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 10, 2020

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