Positive COVID-19 test sidelines Halak Monday against Flyers

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins will be without goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who tested positive for COVID-19, Monday against Philadelphia, according to head coach Bruce Cassidy in a virtual press conference. Halak will miss an unknown amount of time as further testing is done.

“Jaro popped a positive test, we’ve got to follow up with more testing for him,” Cassidy said. “We’ll worry about [Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia] when we get more info.”

Dan Vladar, who was previously scheduled to start Monday night’s game against the Flyers, will remain in net for the Bruins tonight at TD Garden. Backing him up Monday will be Jeremy Swayman, the 22-year-old University of Maine product who is playing in his first full season of professional hockey with the Providence Bruins, the club’s AHL affiliate.

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The Bruins have been without starting goalie Tuukka Rask for nearly a month after the netminder suffered an upper-body injury against the New Jersey Devils on March 7. A little more than two weeks later, Rask reaggravated the injury facing just six shots against the New York Islanders before he left the game.

“Tuukka skated, he’s getting better,” Cassidy said Monday. “But he’s not playing tonight, he’s not playing tomorrow. He’ll travel with us, get some work, see where it ends up.”

The Bruins had two games postponed in late March after five players were all placed on the COVID-19 List. Those players – Craig Smith, David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk – will all be in the lineup Monday night. It will be the first game back for DeBrusk since March 18 against Buffalo.

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In his first season with the Bruins, Vladar is 2-1 in three starts. In that time, he’s amassed a .929 save percentage and put together a 2.03 goals-against average. Swayman is 8-1 in nine starts with the AHL affiliate, his GAA is 1.89 and he sports a .933 SV%.

Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. Monday night against the Flyers. The Bruins will then travel to Philadelphia for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday.

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