By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
RALEIGH — Preserving the one-goal edge needed to take a 3-0 series lead over the Hurricanes required more than just Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask and his 35 saves on Tuesday night.
And unfortunately for the Bruins, that sacrifice goes by the name of Chris Wagner.
Nailed in the arm/wrist area by a Justin Faulk shot in the third period of Boston’s Game 3 victory, Wagner initially made his way to the the B’s bench before he quickly departed down the tunnel and back to the Boston locker room.
Back to the room with less than three minutes to go in what finished as a 2-1 win for the Black and Gold, Wagner’s failure to return was hardly shocking, but the shot appears to have some potential lineup-changing damages, as the Walpole, Mass. native was seen with his arm in a sling and into a room for additional medical examination after the win.
“Right now, I don’t have an update. He’s not good right now when he came off, obviously in a lot of pain,” Cassidy said when asked for a Wagner update. “Probably have [an update] for you tomorrow.”
Losing Wagner for a prolonged stretch would certainly be a devastating blow to the Bruins’ fourth line, which got on the board with a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal, and has been utilized as Boston’s undeniable energy (and sometimes-shutdown) line.
“I thought [Wagner] was terrific,” Cassidy, who talked about the line’s ability to make the right reads to spark offense the other way, said. “That line scored a goal by playing the right way.”
But the good news is that fourth-line banger Noel Acciari (a largely healthy scratch in Game 3) does appear ready to return to action if need be. The 27-year-old Acciari, who has one goal and one assist in 11 postseason contests this spring, has missed the last five playoff tilts dating back to Game 5 of the team’s second-round series victory over the Blue Jackets.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson