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Could Charlie McAvoy Play For Boston Bruins In Game 5?

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RALEIGH, NC – Could Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy be in play for tonight’s pivotal Game 5 showdown between the Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena? The signs are certainly pointing toward the No. 1 defenseman getting out of COVID protocol and getting back on the ice.

Boston Globe reporter Matt Porter snapped a picture of McAvoy arriving at the arena via car service late Tuesday afternoon wearing a mask as he walked into the security entrance for Carolina’s home rink.

McAvoy missed Sunday’s Game 4 after it was announced he was entering the NHL’s COVID protocol and it was anticipated he was going to miss Game 5 as well, though there was the caveat that he could be eligible to play if he had two negative COVID tests prior to game time.

What would a key playoff game be without a little drama during pregame warmups?

A return to the B’s lineup for McAvoy would be a game-changer for the Black and Gold, who will miss Hampus Lindholm for the third straight game with an upper body injury and were forced into a rag tag back end for Game 4 where Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo were the top pairing. The Boston Bruins were ready to soldier on without both McAvoy and Lindholm this morning, a task that would become increasingly difficult in Carolina’s home rink where their speedy and aggressive attack forced Boston into plenty of errors in the first two games.

“When we’re a little cleaner on the breakout, I think that makes a big difference,” said Grzelcyk. “Just working as a five-man unit and we’re a little closer together making a few more bumps rather than a stretch pass that gets broken up, and then they’re coming back the other way.

“I think we’ve done a good job making a few adjustments on the breakout and that’s allowed us to have a smoother time going through the neutral zone and play a little bit more down low.”

If McAvoy comes into the lineup, one expects Mike Reilly to bump up to the top pairing and rugged D-man Josh Brown to come out of the lineup, but we’ll see at pregame warmups exactly what is happening here.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Kevin L

Dear Bruins,
Please stop scoring the other team’s goals!!!

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