3 Keys: Bruins vs. Hurricanes, Game 4 of Eastern First Round

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No. 4 Bruins vs. No. 5 Hurricanes 

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, FS-CR, NESN 

Boston leads best-of-7 series, 2-1 

Andrei Svechnikov will not play for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Monday.

The 20-year-old forward’s knee appeared to buckle while he battled with Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara with 4:38 remaining in the third period of Game 3, which the Hurricanes lost 3-1 Saturday in Toronto, the East hub city. Svechnikov will likely be out the rest of this series, coach Rod Brind’Amour said.

Boston will be without David Pastrnak, who was ruled unfit to play the past two games, after coach Bruce Cassidy said the forward “is not available” for Game 4. Pastrnak participated in the morning skate Monday but was an extra skater during line rushes.

As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.

Goalie Jaroslav Halak will start a second straight game for the Bruins after Tuukka Rask opted out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday.

Here are 3 keys for Game 4:

 

1. Rallying without Svechnikov

Svechnikov was third on the Hurricanes with 61 points (24 goals, 37 assists), behind center Sebastian Aho (66 points) and forward Teuvo Teravainen (63), in the regular season. He was just as productive to start this postseason with seven points (four goals, three assists) in six games.

Brind’Amour said Carolina’s lineup would be “fluid” without Svechnikov, and Aho said it would be up to the rest of the Hurricanes to make it work.

“[Svechnikov] has been a great player,” Aho said. “It has to be all of us that have to step up and fill his shoes.”

 

2. Halak taking over

Heading into Game 3, Halak wasn’t given much notice that he’d start before making 29 saves. It was Halak’s first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since April 27, 2015, when he was with the New York Islanders. He allowed four goals in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, making 25 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Aug. 2.

Halak has now had the chance to settle into the idea of being Boston’s No. 1 goalie moving forward in these playoffs. As for the rest of the Bruins, defenseman Torey Krug said not much changes.

“The mentality with whether you have [Rask] or [Halak] in net doesn’t change too much,” Krug said. “For the most part, it’s very similar. We have utmost confidence in whoever’s behind us.”

 

3. Staying out of the box

There were a combined 10 power plays in Game 3.

The Bruins scored once on five power plays with Charlie Coyle opening the scoring 14 seconds into the second period. The Hurricanes also scored once on their five chances when Nino Niederreiter gloved a clear attempt from Halak before scoring on a backhand into an open net to cut Boston’s lead to 2-1 at 6:30 of the third.

“It doesn’t benefit us when the games are going that way, when there’s lots of penalties,” Brind’Amour said.

Even with Sean Kuraly scoring shorthanded, extending the Bruins’ lead to 2-0 at 1:16 of the third, each team would likely want to clean things up in Game 4.

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronAnders Bjork

Jake DeBruskDavid KrejciOndrej Kase

Sean Kuraly — Charlie Coyle — Jack Studnicka

Joakim NordstromPar LindholmChris Wagner

Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo

Matt GrzelcykConnor Clifton

Jaroslav Halak

Dan Vladar

Scratched: Trent Frederic, Zach Senyshyn, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, Maxime Lagace, Jeremy Lauzon, Nick Ritchie, Karson Kuhlman

Unfit to play: David Pastrnak

 

Hurricanes projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter — Sebastian Aho — Teuvo Teravainen

Warren FoegeleVincent TrocheckMartin Necas

Brock McGinnJordan StaalJustin Williams

Ryan DzingelMorgan GeekieJordan Martinook

Jaccob SlavinDougie Hamilton

Brady SkjeiSami Vatanen

Haydn FleuryTrevor van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer

Scratched: Clark Bishop, Steven Lorentz, Max McCormick, Jake Bean, Roland McKeown, Anton Forsberg, Alex Nedeljkovic, Jake Gardiner

Unfit to play: Andrei Svechnikov, Brett Pesce, Joel Edmundson

 

Status report

Edmundson, a defenseman, will miss a third straight game, Brind’Amour said.

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