'Plan on' Riley Nash in for Game 3, Matt Grzelcyk 'doubtful'

Sara Civian
April 16, 2018 - 2:22 pm

Plan on Bruins center Riley Nash making his return to the lineup for Game 3 in Toronto.

"He'll take warmup," head coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We'll plan on him playing."

The third-line anchor had been out since March 31 with “concussion-like symptoms” from an ear laceration.

“Noel [Acciari] is certainly a guy who can go in there and we’re confident in him, but he doesn’t distribute the puck as well as [Nash],” head coach Bruce Cassidy said Sunday. “When Riley’s in there he’ll make his left winger better, and it allows the PK to take shape a little better. Just sorta sorts everything out for us.”

The Bruins’ first line was able to dominate with 20 points through two playoff games, but eventually Nash’s ability to match up with the NHL’s best and his reliability on the penalty kill would’ve been missed.   

Nash skated for the first time last Monday since taking that Torey Krug slapshot to the ear that required 40-plus stitches, then admitted to concussion-like symptoms on Thursday.

“I had some symptoms, that, I don’t know if it was a concussion or it wasn’t,” he said. “Obviously taking a puck to the side of the skull like that isn’t going to feel great. I don’t know if it was a little bit of swelling causing the symptoms, but I think in this day in age -- it’s the NHL protocol now to go through steps, [you have to] jump through a bunch of the loopholes before you get back."

With Nash back in between Danton Heinen and David Backes during Monday’s morning skate, Noel Acciari shifted back down to the physical fourth line, on the right wing of Sean Kuraly and Tim Schaller.

Cassidy said Sunday that his team appeared healthy after Game 2, but since it didn't practice he couldn't say for sure. Matt Grzelcyk (lower body) didn't participate in Monday's morning skate, and Cassidy said he's "doubtful, but won't rule him out" for Game 3. Nick Holden skated on the third D-pairing with Adam McQuaid. 

Ryan Donato, Brian Gionta, and Tommy Wingels skating as the Bruins' fifth line is a pretty good indication the team is as healthy as it's been in months. 

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