Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Matt Grzelcyk (lower-body) expected to return to lineup for Game 4

Ty Anderson
April 19, 2018 - 6:34 pm

The Bruins are expected to get a boost for an ever-important Game 4 head-to-head with the Maple Leafs tonight, as third-pairing defenseman Matt Grzelcyk appears to be in after missing Monday's Game 3 loss due to a lower-body injury.

"He's out there [for the morning skate], so he should be good to go," Bruins head coach Cassidy said this morning. "But it will obviously be a warmup and game-time decision. I anticipate that he'll go in and if that's the case then he'd go in for [Nick Holden]."

This is one of those returns that could be a sneaky-big boost to the B’s defense, which surrendered stretch passes galore and were often chasing in a 4-2 loss on Monday.

"I think offensively we've been pretty consistent generating chances and then the defensive side of things there were some plays that we think we need to defend better to limit their chances,” said Cassidy.

Not only does a Grzelcyk return give Cassidy a skating option better designed to handle such an offensive attack, but it gives the B’s bench boss an additional skater he obviously trusts, as Grzelcyk played at least 16 minutes in Games 1 and 2 while the veteran Holden (Grzelcyk’s replacement) skated just 12:25 on Monday.

The 24-year-old Grzelcyk had one shot and a plus-1 rating in two games this postseason, and recorded three goals and 15 points in 61 games this regular season.

Here are the expected lines and pairings for the Bruins... 

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Rick Nash

Danton Heinen - Riley Nash - David Backes

Tim Schaller - Sean Kuraly - Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Kevan Miller

Matt Grzelcyk - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

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