The NHL season has just two or three more games. The winner of two games will lift the toughest trophy to win in sports and be forever immortalized in silver. And so the Boston Bruins hoped to have all hands on deck as the team has cleared Zdeno Chara to play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight at the TD Garden, despite a broken jaw. However, sources told Boston Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief Jimmy Murphy that concussed defenseman Matt Grzlecyk cleared protocol earlier Thursday after he was a full participant in the Bruins morning skate, but something changed late Thursday afternoon and only Chara, not Grzelcyk, played. head coach Bruce Cassidy also ended up dressing seven defensemen, inserting defenseman Steven Kampfer into the lineup for forward David Backes.
— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) June 6, 2019
Grzelcyk had also been cleared to play in Game 5 but sources changed course closer to 6 p.m. In Game 2, Grzelcyk laid on the ice after he was boarded in the defensive zone by St. Louis center Oskar Sundqvist. The Bruins defenseman was taken to the hospital during the game for observation. Sundqvist was suspended one game for the hit.
Chara, 42, watched the third period of Game 4 from the bench but did not take a shift. He was outfitted with a full face shield to be on the bench.
Grzelcyk, 25, had 18 points (3g, 15a) this season but has equaled his regular season total with three playoff goal, too. The defenseman has seven points (3g, 4a) in 19 playoff games.
The winner tonight will have the chance to clinch the Stanley Cup in Game 6, in St. Louis.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 6, 2019