Pushing to return, Rask day-to-day

BOSTON -- As the Bruins prepare for the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Washington Capitals, backup Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask continues to rehab from a groin/abdominal injury he suffered on March 3.

With Tim Thomas ready to start and Rask sidelined, Anton Khudobin will serve as the Bruins’ backup. Rask was the last player off the ice after the team’s morning skate on Thursday.

“Day-to-day and try to get better every day,” Rask said. “That’s pretty much it.”

Rask said he is pain-free and has no restrictions on the ice.

“I’m just trying to push it hard every day, see my limits, and then when I feel nothing at all I’ll be good to go,” he said.

When you look back at the last three postseasons for the Bruins, each spring has been completely different for Rask. During the 2009-2010 playoffs, he was the starting goaltender for the Bruins. He helped Boston beat Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres in the quarterfinals. The Bruins then had a 3-0 series lead on the Philadelphia Flyers, but Boston dropped that series in seven games.

Last season, Rask was the backup for starter Tim Thomas and he watched all 25 playoff games from the bench as Thomas won the Conn Smythe.

This season, Rask is rehabbing and is currently the No. 3 goalie in the rotation.

“It’s been something new every year,” he said. “Right now, I don’t want to be in this spot and it's tough. There’s nothing I can do about it, except work hard and try to get better. I’m hoping I get back soon and we have a long run ahead of us, and I get some games, too.”