Andrei Svechnikov could be out for the Carolina Hurricanes for the rest of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Boston Bruins.
He will not play Game 4 on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, FS-CR, NESN), at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
The forward was injured late in the third period of the Hurricanes’ 3-1 loss in Game 3 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday. The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series, 2-1.
Asked if Svechnikov could return for the series, Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said, “I highly doubt it.”
Brind’Amour said he had no other update other than to say the 20-year-old was having an MRI. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.
Svechnikov got tangled with Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara battling in the slot before his right knee appeared to buckle. He was helped off the ice by teammates and went to the locker room with 4:38 remaining.
“It didn’t look very good, obviously,” Brind’Amour said after the game. “Fell really awkward. Certainly didn’t look good. We’ll have more, obviously, at some point.”
Svechnikov had two shots on goal and five hits in 15:58 of ice time. He was the left wing on the second line with center Vincent Trocheck and right wing Martin Necas.
Without Svechnikov, Brind’Amour said the Hurricanes’ lineup could change throughout Game 4 of the series in Toronto, the hub city for the East
“We’re going to be fluid with the lineup,” Brind’Amour said Sunday. “Practiced with some different combinations today. With [Svechnikov] being out there, puts us at a little bit of a disadvantage. I think we’ll move the lines around quite a bit tomorrow, but like I said, we’re going to need everyone to contribute if we’re going to have a chance.”
Svechnikov has seven points (four goals, three assists) in six postseason games, including five points (three goals, two assists) in a three-game sweep of the New York Rangers during the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. After not scoring a point in Game 1 of this series, he had a goal and an assist in Game 2, which Carolina won 3-2.
In 68 games during his second NHL season, Svechnikov was third on the Hurricanes with 61 points (24 goals, 37 assists), behind center Sebastian Aho (66 points) and forward Teuvo Teravainen (63).
When answering a question related to how the Hurricanes could rebound in Game 4, Brind’Amour said Saturday he was having a difficult time finishing his thoughts after what happened to Svechnikov.
“Right now, it’s tough because you see a kid go down, and that injury looks really bad,” Brind’Amour said. “That’s all that’s going through my head. I hate it for him. That’s it. I can’t even comment on anything else, to be honest with you.”
A day later, Brind’Amour said he would expect Carolina to rally for Svechnikov.
“You would hope so,” Brind’Amour said. “I think every team has injuries. We’ve got Joel Edmundson and Brett Pesce out, now [Svechnikov]. Every team has them. You have a list of them. That’s why you have depth, and other guys have to step up.
“Obviously, you’re not going to replace that player, for sure. Talent and everything in there, but there’s no other alternative. So it’s a team game and we know we need everyone to win if we’re going to have a chance. Everyone’s got to produce, whoever is in the lineup.”
Carolina forward Justin Williams said he did not see Svechnikov in the locker room after the game.
As a rookie, Svechnikov was injured in a fight with Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in Game 3 of the first round last season. The Hurricanes won that game 5-0 and three of the next four games, including a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 7.
Svechnikov returned in Game 3 of a four-game sweep against the New York Islanders in the second round before Carolina was swept by Boston in the Eastern Conference Final.
Aho said he thinks the Hurricanes will react similarly without Svechnikov this time.
“It has to be,” Aho said. “[Svechnikov] has been a great player. … It has to be all of us that have to step up and fill his shoes.”