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Stanley Cup Final

Grzelcyk 'wild card,' Kuhlman likely in for Bruins in Game 7 of Cup Final

Defenseman remains in concussion protocol, awaiting medical clearance to return against Blues

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Grzelcyk's status is uncertain, but whether the Boston Bruins defenseman plays against the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on Wednesday, (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS, SN), forward Karson Kuhlman will likely remain in the lineup.

Grzelcyk practiced wearing a non-contact jersey Tuesday. He has not played since he sustained a concussion when he was boarded by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist late in the first period of Game 2. 

Grzelcyk, who is in concussion protocol, has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"Grzelcyk is a wild card," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Monday. "We'll have to make a decision if he gets cleared. Who knows how that will play out Wednesday. Up front, obviously Kuhlman did a great job [in Game 6], so he'll probably stay in."

 

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Kuhlman scored his first NHL playoff goal in the Bruins' 5-1 win against the Blues in Game 6 at Enterprise Center on Sunday. He replaced David Backes on the second line, playing right wing with left wing Jake DeBrusk and center David Krejci. Kuhlman had five points (three goals, two assists) in 11 regular-season games with the Bruins. He has three points (one goal, two assists) in seven playoff games.

Video: BOS@STL, Gm6: Kuhlman buries first playoff goal

Cassidy praised Kuhlman, 23, who last played in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round on April 30. He had an assist in that game.

"Put in this situation, I think you have to give him a lot of credit for how he's prepared over the last month, and to the coaches who have been working with him to keep him on top of it," Cassidy said. "It's a grind for [extra players] too. They may not get into a game this late in the year, but he's played with us, he knows our system. Putting him with Krejci and DeBrusk, he's played a lot of games with them, so there was that comfort level. He's a pretty mature kid for a young guy."

Defenseman Torey Krug said Kuhlman gave the Bruins a spark.

"He's another guy who's stepped in, put the Bruins sweater on and showed up in a big moment," Krug said. "Those are the type of people you want in the locker room, that we've had in the locker room for a long time. We're all comfortable with whoever steps in the lineup and he brought it."

Another option at forward could be Chris Wagner (upper body), who practiced in a regular jersey. Wagner has not played since scoring in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on May 14.
 

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