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COVID cancels Tuukka Rask’s scheduled start with the Providence Bruins

Tuukka Rask had plans to play a couple of tuneups with the Providence Bruins but COVID derailed those plans.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Tuukka Rask, the winningest goalie in Bruins history, on Friday night remained a man without a 24-square-foot country.

Rask, who had offseason hip surgery for a torn labrum, was slated to man the net Friday for the AHL Providence Bruins as an essential step toward signing with the varsity Bruins and possibly playing in the NHL as soon as next week.

But COVID concerns once again postponed Friday and Sunday matchups between the Providence Bruins and the Flyers’ Lehigh Valley farm club, leaving the 34-year-old Rask still in need of finding a tuneup game.

A Bruins public relations representative, contacted Friday afternoon, texted there was no update on Rask’s next steps. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said late Thursday, following a 3-2 loss to the Wild, that the club would update Rask’s status on Friday.

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The ECHL Maine Mariners, the Bruins’ other minor-pro affiliate, will face Adirondack Saturday (6.p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) in Portland, but there has been no indication from the Bruins that Rask might suit up for either of those games.

Once Rask comes aboard the Boston roster, it likely means that rookie Jeremy Swayman will ship off to Providence while Rask and Linus Ullmark share the netminding chores. However, Cassidy noted earlier this week that one scenario would have Swayman remaining with the varsity as a member of the taxi squad.

Ideally, noted Cassidy, it’s better for young goalies to face steady work rather than ride the pine with varsity.

“But at the same token, if [Swayman] is giving us the best chance to win, then we have to factor in that he needs his share of starts,” said Cassidy, asked if he could envision keeping three tenders. “So, yes, you could see that, absolutely. "


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com.