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Injured Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk closing on return to the lineup

Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk hasn't played since the Bruins' overtime win over the Panthers Oct. 30.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Bruins have a date awaiting them in Manhattan, a meeting a week from Saturday against the Rangers, and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is expected to return to the lineup in that matinee matchup at Madison Square Garden.

“Grizzy comes off [the injured list] for the Ranger game, and we think he will be available,” said coach Jim Montgomery, as he provided an update on the club’s wounded following Wednesday’s workout in Brighton.

Meanwhile, per Montgomery, return-to-play dates for Milan Lucic (foot) and Morgan Geekie (unspecified injury) are still to be determined.

“Looch, we don’t have a timeline definitively yet,” added Montgomery, whose squad doesn’t play until the Canadiens visit Causeway Street Saturday night. “And Geekie is going to be, at best, another week … but don’t hold me to that.”


Grzelcyk, viewed by Montgomery as his most “shot-ready” blue liner before exiting the lineup, was felled Oct. 30, departing midway through the first period of a 3-2 overtime win over Florida at the Garden. In his prior eight games, the 29-year-old registered a meager 1-0–1 line.

Provided no one else is forced to exit the lineup, the Bruins presumably would have to make a roster move to add Grzelcyk’s $3.69 million cap hit back on the roster.

“I would assume so, yes,” confirmed Montgomery.

Matt Grzelcyk could make his Bruins return when they play the Rangers on Nov. 25.Michael Reaves/Getty

Powering up

Hampus Lindholm’s goal Tuesday in Buffalo was his first this season, as well as the first power-play strike by a Bruins defenseman in the opening 15 games.

Bruins blue liners have scored six goals, including a pair by Charlie McAvoy, a substantial drop from the nine they scored through 15 games last season. The blue-line crew didn’t connect for a power-play goal last season until Game 20, a 5-2 loss in Sunrise, Fla.

The Lindholm goal also extended to five the consecutive number of games the Bruins have potted at least one PPG. They have gone 6 for 18 in their last five games, improving to 22 percent overall, which Wednesday morning had them parked in the No. 11 spot in the league’s rankings.


Their penalty-killing unit went 14 for 18 over the same five-game stretch, which has the Bruins atop the league with a 91.2 percent kill rate.

“I think we are being diverse in our looks,” said Montgomery, asked to assess the club’s power play over the last five games. “But I think it’s because people are starting to be comfortable reading off each other.”

Typically, James van Riemsdyk has worked the net front, and the three other forwards — David Pastrnak, Pavel Zacha, and Brad Marchand — have become “interchangeable,” added Montgomery.

“Which makes us unpredictable,” he said. “Sometimes you see Pasta in the bumper. Sometimes you see Marchy in the bumper. And obviously, we’ve gotten Charlie [McAvoy] back, so there’s more continuity. But mostly it’s just them getting comfortable.”

The Bruins were a popgun-like 5 for 32 (15.6 percent) on the advantage across their first 10 games.

Down to one

Danton Heinen, Brandon Carlo, Oskar Steen, and Lindholm on Tuesday potted their first goals of the season, leaving Kevin Shattenkirk (13 games, 0-3-3) as the lone lineup regular yet to put one in the net … The Bruins have accumulated an impressive lead-time ratio of approximately 5:1. They led for 478:17 and trailed for 89:27 in the 15 games. In eight of the games, the opposition never held a lead … Wednesday’s practice featured an end-of-day scrimmage that didn’t end until someone scored a goal. Finally, it was Jakub Lauko, on a breakaway, banging one through Linus Ullmark’s pads, allowing Elvis to leave the building. But not before a frustrated Ullmark, the winner the night before in Buffalo, smacked his big paddle across the crossbar. Good compete level vibe.


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at