Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask suffers concussion in loss to Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask suffered a concussion in Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Blue Jackets, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.

Rask left just 1:12 into the game after getting hit in the head by a passing Blue Jackets player. Emil Bemstrom was cutting across the front of the Bruins' crease when it appeared his elbow or forearm caught Rask on the side on the head, drawing the ire of Cassidy.

"It was an elbow to the head. It's a penalty is what it is, so you have to move on," Cassidy said. "It's just unfortunate that it happens to your No. 1. It was pretty clear to me."

Rask took off his mask and shook his head, then skated to the bench and down the tunnel. He was replaced in net by Jaroslav Halak. Defenseman Brandon Carlo was on the ice during the play, and was the closest Bruin to the crease.

"He did get his arm up a little bit there," Carlo said of Bemstrom. "Unfortunately, we didn't recognize that sooner."

Halak stopped 24 shots in relief as the Bruins lost their second straight and were shut out for the first time this season. Halak also played Monday night, a 6-5 shootout loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia.

Rask's injury came a day after he decided to skip the All-Star Game, choosing instead to take that Jan. 24-26 weekend for self-care.

"I have to be kind of selfish here," he said, "thinking about how much hockey we played last year, and a short summer and thinking about playing until June again."

Rask, 32, has appeared in 28 games this season, after leading the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals last season in combined 70 regular-season and playoff games.

Plus, the schedule worked against him making an All-Star Game appearance. The Bruins' bye week falls around the All-Star break, as Boston doesn't have a game scheduled from Jan. 22 through Jan. 30.

"Just because it falls in the middle of the bye week, you want that break. You want to spend some time with the family," Rask said. "It was a selfish decision to go away and take care of the mind and body and rejuvenate. Be ready for the last couple of busy months of the season."

Per NHL rules, Rask is suspended for one game immediately before or after the NHL All-Star break for having been selected to the game and not appearing. The Bruins visit the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 31 in their first game after the All-Star break. Rask said he spoke with Bruins team officials, who were "fine" with his decision to miss the All-Star event.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.