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Moore to replace Grzelcyk for Bruins in Game 3 of Cup Final

Steps in for injured defenseman against Blues

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- John Moore will replace injured defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in the Boston Bruins lineup when they play the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

"He's a left stick, keeps everything simple in terms of pairs and (everyone) on their strong sides," coach Bruce Cassidy said Friday. 

Moore has no points in five Stanley Cup Playoff games. He has not played since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes, when he replaced defenseman Zdeno Chara, who didn't play because of an undisclosed injury. Moore had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and an even rating in 61 regular-season games for Boston.

The best-of-7 series is tied after the Blues won 3-2 in overtime in Game 2 at Boston on Wednesday.

"I think as a team we've had the 'next man up' mentality all year," Moore said after the morning skate Saturday. "It's not John Moore against the St. Louis Blues. The strength of our team is how together and how close-knit this group has been. I'm just focused on coming in and doing my job and helping the team win."

 

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Video: John Moore talks about potential lineup return

Cassidy said Grzelcyk, who has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 19 playoff games, is in Boston and isn't sure if he has resumed skating. Grzelcyk left Game 2 in the first period following a hit by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist that resulted in a boarding penalty and is day to day in the NHL concussion protocol. Sundqvist was suspended for Game 3 by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Thursday.

"[Grzelcyk] is a player that we rely on skating pucks out of the zone," Chara said Friday. "He's a great puck-mover. He sees the ice well. It's very important he's on the ice. But we believe that he's going to recover fast, and we have obviously good enough players in our system that will fill that role."

Connor Clifton, who is expected to be paired with Moore for Game 3, pointed out that the two have played together before and said that should make for a smooth transition.

"Obviously, he's a great skater, a lot of fun to watch," Clifton said. "He's really good on the offensive blue line, so I think we're just going to be loud for each other, get out of the [defensive] zone pretty quick. Hopefully, we play in the O zone most of the night."

It will be Moore's first game in a Cup Final since 2014, when he played in four with the New York Rangers against the Los Angeles Kings. But Moore, who had an assist in that series, said he's ready to go

"You can shape the narrative in a variety of different ways, but right now I have an opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup Final," he said. "If you'd have told me that in the summer, I would have signed up for that 100 times out of 100. So, I'm ecstatic to be in. Obviously, I hate to see [Grzelcyk] go down, but now it's my time to go to work."

 

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