Bruce Cassidy said the Bruins are ‘targeting’ David Pastrnak’s return for Game 3

Cassidy also said Pastrnak's status will "probably go right down to the game time again on Saturday."

David Pastrnak in Game 1 of the Bruins-Hurricanes series.
David Pastrnak in Game 1 of the Bruins-Hurricanes series. –Elsa / Getty Images

David Pastrnak was surprisingly absent from the Bruins’ lineup in Game 2 of Boston’s first-round series against the Hurricanes on Thursday.

The team announced it would be without its league-leading goal-scorer less than 30 minutes before the puck dropped in what was eventually a 3-2 loss for the Bruins, evening the series at 1-1.

Due to the NHL’s current protocol, the only stated reason for Pastrnak’s absence was that he was “unfit to participate.”

Following Game 2, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy gave an update on the 24-year-old. Game 3 gets underway on Saturday at noon ET.

“He was questionable from the game [Wednesday] afternoon,” Cassidy said of Pastrnak. “[Thursday] morning he was getting treatment — unfit to participate. We don’t believe it will be long term, that’s a day-to-day thing, we hope. So we’re obviously targeting Saturday at noon.

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“It’s tough, Saturday at noon, because it’s tough to test it — to get out skating in a morning skate — so it’ll probably go right down to the game time again on Saturday.”

Pastrnak totaled 48 goals and 47 assists through 70 games of the regular season prior to the league’s suspension in March due to COVID-19. The tally of goals tied him with Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals for the league lead.

If Pastrnak is unable to play again, the Bruins might use Anders Bjork in his place on the top line, as the team did in Game 2.

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