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Mar 3, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk’s 2021 is off to a rough start.

After getting through Boston’s season-opening series in New Jersey without any issues, Matt Grzelcyk was injured in the third period of the B’s showdown on Long Island almost two weeks ago. He managed to escape that scare unscathed, and was in action for Boston’s home opener against the Flyers last week. That contest came with another close call, this time on a crash into the boards behind the B’s net, and while it initially appeared as if Grzelcyk dodged another bullet, the lingering nature of the lower-body ailment kept the 27-year-old out of action for the next two contests.

Then came Thursday’s return to action against the Penguins, which went swimmingly for No. 48 until a new lower-body injury knocked him out of a 4-1 win over the Penguins.

“It was a different injury,” Bruins head coach Cassidy confirmed after the victory. “Tough start for Grz.”

Injured in three of his five outings this year, a ‘tough start’ seems generous. And the Bruins already seem to have their doubts when it comes to the 5-foot-9 defender being ready to go in time for Saturday’s contest in Washington.

“I don’t think he’ll be available Saturday,” said Cassidy. “We’re gonna put him as day-to-day for now. But it looks like it might be a few days, anyway. We’ll see. We’ll probably have a much better idea [Friday] or worst case Saturday morning when it calms down a bit. But that’s the initial prognosis for him.”

With Grzelcyk out, Connor Clifton, who skated in Grzelcyk’s spot to Brandon Carlo’s left on the Black and Gold’s second pairing during his two-game absence, is the logical choice to draw back into the mix.

The 5-foot-11 Clifton has a plus-1 rating, seven hits, and three shots on goal in two appearances this season.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.