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Stanley Cup Final

Marchand, Krejci, Chara each expected to play for Bruins in Game 1

Stanley Cup Final opener against Blues will end 10-day layoff for Boston

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara each is expected to be in the lineup when the Boston Bruins host the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Marchand did not practice Sunday, when the forward took a maintenance day, according to Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. Krejci returned to practice Sunday after being sidelined three days because of an illness. Chara did not play in Boston's Eastern Conference Final-clinching 4-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on May 16 because of an undisclosed injury.

Game 1 will mark the Bruins' 100th game this season (regular season and playoffs combined). It will also be their first game in 11 days, and Cassidy said he won't know until puck drop whether Boston properly handled the break leading up to the best-of-7 Final.


[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blues series coverage]


"Yeah, I mean I guess until we play, right, it's going to be hard [to tell]," Cassidy said at the morning skate on Monday. "I think they've handled it well. We've mixed in rest versus work. Yesterday our practice was scruffy, I'm not going to lie to you. I thought the day before was excellent. 

"So … as a coach, which one do you take? I trust the leadership group that they'll have our guys ready. I think we've put in a plan this week that we feel will let us have success in the first game. Until we get out there, who knows?"

Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk said, "It just feels different just because we've had 10 days off. Body feels pretty good, but just lucky to still be playing this time of year. Obviously 100 games is quite a lot to take, but we obviously want to be in this position."

Cassidy said the most important thing for the players is to treat Game 1 like any other game.

"We talked about that this week," he said. "I mean, obviously the magnitude of, 'It's not just another game.' But we want to try to prepare like we have all year for all 100 games.

"I think players are typically routine-oriented. So the closer you can stick to it, the better it is. Obviously there's going to be a few differences this time of year, when the games start, some of the stuff that's going on around it, obviously."

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