CAPITALS AT BRUINS | 7 P.M. (NESN)
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Tuukka Rask will be back in net Saturday night when the Bruins try to snap a three-year, nine-game winless streak against Washington in a 7 p.m. faceoff at TD Garden.
Rask (2-3-2), who picked up the win in Thursday’s 2-1 edging of the Golden Knights, will be leaned on heavily as the Bruins enter their busiest stretch of the new season, playing five games over the next eight days, including back-to-back matchups with the Maple Leafs on Friday (in Toronto) and Saturday (at the Garden).
Rask will not make both starts against the Leafs, but is expected to go here Monday against the Wild and then again Wednesday in New York against the Rangers.
Meanwhile, Rask’s backup remains an open question, with Anton Khudobin yet to heal fully from a lower-body injury he sustained in Sunday’s off-day workout. Zane McIntyre filled the reserve role recently against both Columbus and Vegas and was penciled in to do the same against the Caps.
“We had the plan earlier this year that went right out the window,” said coach Bruce Cassidy, his planned Rask-Khudobin rotation tossed in the trash can when Rask sustained a concussion in practice last month. “Zane’s here as a capable backup, and obviously Dobie was playing very well. Zane hasn’t had the opportunity this year, so I can’t say we know what we are going to get out of him, but obviously he had a great year last year.”
Khudobin, his injury taking longer to heal than expected, filled in admirably for Rask and ran his record to 3-0-1 with a .926 save percentage.
McIntyre, in his brief visits with the varsity last season, played well for the most part, but was snakebitten by some key, untimely goals and never registered a win (0-4-1 in eight appearances). However, he was a reliable workhorse at AHL Providence in 2016-17, where he finished 26-6-1 with a .930 save percentage.
“Because he missed some games, we can play a little catch-up,” said Cassidy, referring to Rask, whom the Bruins would prefer to limit to approximately 60 starts this season. “He won’t play the back-to-backs, that we know. Before then, it’s kind of game by game.”
The game against the Caps was Boston’s 12th game of the season and Rask’s eight start, comfortably behind the pace that has seen him average 66 appearances over the last three seasons.
Entering the weekend, Khudobin had yet to practice, including Friday’s workout in Brighton.
“Not being on the ice . . . tough to play, right?” said Cassidy. “Hopefully he’s back soon. If he’s expected to play this week, he’s going to have to be on the ice here and quickly.”
■ When, where: Saturday, 7 p.m., at TD Garden.
■ TV, radio: NESN, WBZ-FM (98.5).
■ Goals: Alex Ovechkin 10, T.J. Oshie 6, four tied with 3.
■ Assists: Evgeny Kuznetzov 12, Nicklas Backstrom 9, John Carlson 9.
■ Goaltending: Braden Holtby (6-3-0, 2.79 GAA); Philipp Grubauer (0-3-1, 4.08 GAA).
■ Head to head: This is the first of three meetings. Boston was 0-2-1 vs. Washington last season.
■ Miscellany: Washington is 4-3-1 on the road, with two of those victories coming after regulation . . . Washington ranks 30th in the NHL in shots on goal, averaging 28.5 . . . The Capitals rank 28th in penalty killing (74.5 percent), allowing a league-worst 14 power-play goals in 13 games.
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