By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk’s injury-plagued start to the 2021 season will lead to another missed game, with Grzelcyk ruled out for Friday’s rematch with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
On the ice for both New York goals against and finishing with a defense-low 11:41 on Wednesday, the 5-foot-9 Grzelcyk appeared to tweak something on a sequence that ended with him chasing after the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad.
1st, thanks to @SpokedZ for finding this 2nd sorry for the quality. This is where it was pretty obvious #NHLBruins d-man Matt Grzelcyk was in discomfort. Not normal for him to stand still and reach at the blue line like that. Real noticeable skating back. pic.twitter.com/UfBY1iwkc7— Dominic Tiano (@dominictiano) February 12, 2021
It’s unclear if this latest setback is a new injury or a re-aggravation of his most recent lower-body injury, which kept him out of five games, but the 27-year-old Grzelcyk’s latest injury means that he’s been injured in four of his six games to date this season.
“Obviously a tough start to the year [for Grzelcyk],” B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy said Thursday. “We’ll put him as day-to-day.”
With Grzelcyk out, Connor Clifton will jump back into action and play the left side on a pairing with Brandon Carlo. Clifton has totaled 21 hits and eight blocked shots and averaged 17:08 per night during his six-game fill-in for Grzelcyk.
Kevan Miller, meanwhile, is expected to stay in tonight’s lineup after getting a maintenance day on Thursday.
On the New York side of things, the Blueshirts will come into tonight’s contest without the services of superstar winger Artemi Panarin thanks to a lower-body injury suffered in Wednesday’s contest. Panarin, who has 15 points through 12 games this season, was clearly limited from the second period on, and finished with a season-low 15:34 in the loss.
The Bruins enter tonight’s contest with four straight victories, and points in nine straight games (8-0-1).