Tuukka Rask opts out of NHL All-Star game

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will take a break rather than participate in the NHL’s All-Star Weekend.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will take a break rather than participate in the NHL’s All-Star Weekend.Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Tuukka Rask, figuring his body needs more sunshine and less time under bright arena lights, informed the NHL on Monday that he will sit out its upcoming All-Star weekend, Jan. 24-26, in St. Louis.

“Somewhere tropical,” said Rask, when asked here where he’ll spend his respite.

Rask, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday in March, then kidded the Boston media contingent here for the evening’s Bruins-Flyers matchup that he would not offer further details about his vacation destination.

“I don’t want you knocking on my door,” he said to one veteran wag in particular.

By opting out of the league’s midseason showcase event, Rask will be forced to sit out a game upon the club’s return from its extended January vacation. After facing the Vegas Golden Knights at the Garden on Jan. 21, the Bruins are not back in action again until Friday, Jan. 31, in Winnipeg. The Bruins also play the next night in St. Paul, Minn. The Bruins and Rask can decide which game he sits out.

The Bruins likely will have AHL Providence tender Max Lagace (currently 14-6-2 with the WannaB’s) in uniform along with Jaroslav Halak — who took the 6-5, shootout loss at Philadelphia — for whichever game Rask is unavailable.

Tuukka Rask says he’s headed someplace warm later this month.

John Tlumacki

Boston-09/14/19 The Boston Bruins practiced at Warrior Ice Arena. Goalie Tuukka Rask smiles as he takes a breather. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(sports)

“I was thinking about it a lot when I saw the scheduling,” said Rask. “First of all, it’s a great honor to be chosen, obviously. It makes the decision tough. But for me, I had to be kinda selfish, thinking how much hockey we played last year . . . and thinking of playing until June again [this year]. And with this falling in the middle of our bye week, I wouldn’t be able to do anything with the family.”

Rask joins Capitals star winger Alex Ovechkin among the hell-no-we-won’t-go contingent to sit out the ASG weekend.

“Kind of a selfish decision,” reiterated Rask, who has appeared in 27 of the club’s 47 games. “Now I can spend time with the family and get my mind and body rejuvenated, and be ready for the last couple of busy months of the season.”

Rask added that the Bruins were “fine with” his decision.

“I gave them a heads up,” he said. “I talked to goalie Bob [Essensa] even way before the break, that if there’s a possibility I’m going, then it’s going to be more beneficial for me to sit somewhere else, take the break. But, yeah, they were supportive, very supportive.

“It’s everybody’s choice, I guess,” added Rask. “Nobody really wants to make the league look bad or anything like that, but sometimes you have to be selfish with these decisions, thinking of the family and the second part of the season.”

Upon returning from the bye break, the Bruins will have 31 games remaining on the 82-game regular-season schedule.

Matt Grzelcyk, seen here in a game last month against Montreal, has two goals and 12 assists this season.

Matthew J. Lee

Boston MA 12/01/19 Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) controls the puck in front of Montreal Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) during first period action at TD Garden. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: reporter:

Grzelcyk gets back in mix

Matt Grzelcyk, who exited Saturday’s game with the Islanders after only three shifts and 1:27 in ice time, was back in the defensive mix in Monday’s loss.

Grzelcyk underwent X-rays immediately after being hacked on the back of the leg by Islander center Derick Brassard. He felt considerably better on Sunday, enabling him to practice in the afternoon, and felt good to go after his late-morning skate at Wells Fargo Center.

“I don’t even know how vicious it was,” Grzelcyk said late Monday morning, downplaying the force of Brassard’s chop. “But it just kind of caught me in a really weird spot.”

Grzelcyk was primarily paired with John Moore, and registered a lone shot while being on the ice for Philadelphia’s final two goals. He logged 17:18 in ice time and finished -1.

Feel the power

David Krejci’s first of two goals made it a season-best run of 14 consecutive games with at least one power-play goal, going 16 for 50 (32 percent) over that stretch.

The breakdown on those 16 man-up strikes: Patrice Bergeron (5), David Pastrnak (4), Jake DeBrusk (3), and one each from Krejci, Danton Heinen, Torey Krug, and Brad Marchand. Notably, only one strike from a defenseman.

The Bruins are 7-1-6 during the run.

Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.