Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak should be ready to go Saturday against the Washington Capitals.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Friday that final medical clearances were still needed, but things are moving in the right direction.
“It sounds like he’s checked all the boxes, but tomorrow we’ll make that decision,” Cassidy said. “So trending very well. I think today was a very light day for him. They pushed him this week. So if he wakes up, no residual effects, feels good, my guess is he’s got a good chance to play tomorrow night. The medical department will make that decision tomorrow, but we have the intention of playing him if we get those clearances tomorrow and it sounds like there’s a very good chance we will.”
Pastrnak had right hip arthroscopy and labral repair on September 16, which was followed by a predicted five-month recovery period. He’s been practicing with contact since Monday and should be back on the top line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron by the weekend.
“Obviously, every injury brings you down a little bit,” Pastrnak said. “This thing was going on for so long that I got kind of used to that, to be honest. It’s been going on for like a year, almost. That’s why I’m having way more fun skating right now, because it’s pain-free and it’s been a while since I was pain-free skating.”
The Bruins are on a four-game winning streak and are 5-1-1 on the season, but they were challenged at even-strength for their first three games. They took some time to get used to life without Pastrnak, but they’re rolling now with 18 goals in their last four games.
24-year-old Pastrnak will definitely add even more offensive punch. He scored a career-high 48 goals last season, tying Alex Ovechkin for the league lead.
In 390 career regular season games, all with Boston, Pastrnak has 180 goals and 199 assists. He also has 20 goals and 33 assists in 52 playoff games.
Cassidy will have some line juggling to do when Pastrnak returns, but it’s a nice problem to have. The Bruins will probably be without forward Jake DeBrusk due to a lower body injury, while Jack Studnicka might also miss time thanks to an undisclosed injury suffered Thursday.
Pic: John Tlumacki/Boston Globe