Boston Bruins

It’s not quite at the level of the battering the Boston blue line took earlier in the year, but the Bruins are expected to skate without one of their most impactful defenders on Saturday, as Matt Grzelcyk missed Friday’s practice with a lower-body ailment.

“Got through the game in New York — kind of lingered after the game,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Grzelcyk’s absence. “I don’t think he’ll play [Saturday], simply because he was off the ice [and] Johnny Moore is healthy.”

The 25-year-old has been among the B’s most effective defenders this season, with one goal and 14 points through 50 appearances, and with a 19:46 per game that speaks to the greater role the Charlestown native has earned this season.

Most recently, Grzelcyk has been part of a tremendous pairing with Charlie McAvoy that’s seen the former Boston U. teammates that’s seen them control play for the most part, and outshoot opponents 16-12.

And while the duo has an even goal differential (they’ve been on the ice for one goal and surrendered just one goal) over that brief 26-minute sample, it’s worth mentioning that their lone goal against came when Grzelcyk’s stick got stuck in the net and allowed the Rangers to have a clean possession (and pass) along the boards.

As Cassidy mentioned, Grzelcyk’s expected absence will let Moore jump back into action. The 6-foot-2 Moore has been a scratch in eight of Boston’s last 11 games, and enters play with two goals and nine points in 43 games this season.