A returning stalwart should help the Boston Bruins get back on track against the Arizona Coyotes.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters Friday he expects Matt Grzelcyk to return to Boston’s lineup for the evening tilt with Arizona. Grzelcyk has missed the Bruins’ last two games due to an upper-body injury he suffered Saturday, and Cassidy had described him as “day-to-day” ever since. Well, Grzelck’s day apparently has come, as he participated in Friday’s morning skate and is poised to retake his place on Boston’s top defensive pairing, alongside Charlie McAvoy.
Grzelyck technically will be a game-time decision, but there’s confidence he’ll be able to go. If he’s back, Urho Vaakanainen likely will be a healthy scratch.
Grzelck’s return should bode well for the Bruins, who have allowed nine goals this week in the two games they played without him, losing both.
Linus Ullmark will start as Bruins goaltender for the second consecutive game. Tuukka Rask will be his backup.
This is the first Bruins-Coyotes game since February 2020, and Boston’s first visit to Arizona since October 2019. The matchup and venue have been kind to the the Bruins, who enjoy a 16-game winning streak against the Coyotes, with their last loss coming Oct. 9, 2010.
NESN will air Bruins-Coyotes in full, with pregame coverage starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. Puck drop from Gila River Arena is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.
Here are the teams’ projected lines and defensive pairings:
BOSTON BRUINS (24-13-3)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Craig Smith
Taylor Hall–Erik Haula–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–Charlie Coyle–Oskar Steen
Anton Blidh–Tomas Nosek–Curtis Lazar
Matt Grzelcyk–Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly–Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort–Connor Clifton
ARIZONA COYOTES (10-27-4)
Lawson Crouse–Johan Larsson-Phil Kessel
Clayton Keller–Travis Boyd–Nick Schmaltz
Andrew Ladd-Riley Nash–Christian Fischer
Liam O’Brien–Alex Galchenyuk–Loui Eriksson
Kyle Capobianco–Shayne Gostisbehere
Janis Moser–Anton Stralman
Jakob Chychrun–Ilya Lyubushkin
These projected lines and defensive pairings are presented by Berkshire Bank, the official bank of NESN’s Boston Bruins coverage.