The Boston Bruins were forced to play a big chunk of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final short-handed on defense after Matt Grzelcyk was injured during the first period on an awkward-looking hard hit from behind.
Grzelcyk was stopping the puck along the boards behind the Boston net when he lost his balance a little. At the same time, St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist was lining him up for a check.
Grzelcyk’s head slammed into the glass, and he grabbed his head, fell to the ice and stayed there as Bruins and Blues players scuffled.
The defenseman was checked out by a trainer and left the ice with assistance. He had not returned by the start of the third period, and the Bruins had no announcement on his status.
Sundqvist was given a two-minute penalty for boarding, which St. Louis killed. Any further discipline might not happen because Grzelcyk’s body position changed slightly before the hit.
The Bruins played with five defensemen and later with four during one stretch in the second period when Connor Clifton got a four-minute penalty for high-sticking.
Blues center Oskar Sundqvist was penalized for boarding Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. (Photo: Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports)
But key blocks by Joakim Nordstrom and a goaltending interference penalty to Jaden Schwartz helped the Bruins kill that penalty.
Grzelcyk has three goals and four assists in 18 playoff games and was averaging a little more than 17 minutes a night.