Carolina Hurricanes expected to start Curtis McElhinney in Game 4 against Bruins

May 16 (UPI) — Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney is expected to start in net against the Boston Bruins for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

“Will he play again [Thursday]? Probably,” Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour told reporters Wednesday. “There’s a pretty good chance he’ll be the goaltender, but you never know. We are going to need him to play good like that because again, they get their chances.”

McElhinney recorded 29 saves in the Hurricanes’ 2-1 loss in Game 3 on Tuesday night. It was his first start since he replaced an injured Petr Mrazek during the second round against the New York Islanders.

Mrazek returned from his lower-body injury after missing 11 days and reclaimed his starting job. The goaltender struggled in the first two games against the Bruins, allowing 10 goals on 52 shots. Mrazek was benched and McElhinney got the call to start the third game of the series.

McElhinney has a 3-1 record with a 1.70 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in four games during the 2019 NHL playoffs. Mrazek is 5-5 with a 2.73 goals-against average and .894 save percentage.

“It’s not a blame game,” Carolina defenseman Calvin de Haan told reporters. “They are different styles of goalies. They have been really good for us this year and they definitely helped get us into a playoff spot and into a good position. [Can] only say good things about them.”

Game 4 is Thursday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. The Bruins hold a 3-0 series lead over the Hurricanes.

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