By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
RALEIGH -- The Bruins are in sudden need of a Chris Wagner replacement.
Hurt on a Justin Faulk blast he blocked late in the third period, Wagner was seen with his arm in a sling following the team's 2-1 victory in Game 3, and has already returned to Boston for further evaluation, according to Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. (And for what it's worth, multiple sources have already indicated to 98.5 The Sports Hub that Wagner's postseason is over.)
Fortunately for the Bruins, though, Noel Acciari is ready to go, and will indeed do exactly that with Joakim Nordstrom and Sean Kuraly on the B's fourth line tomorrow night in Boston's closeout attempt in Game 4 against the Hurricanes.
“They’re similar players," Cassidy said of switching from the injured Wagner to Acciari. "So we don’t lose much, and that’s no disrespect to Chris, that’s maybe a compliment to Noel. That’s just what he brings."
Injured in the team's Game 4 victory over the Blue Jackets in round two, Acciari has been working towards a return to the lineup, and probably would have drawn back into action last night had it not been for Cassidy's desire to simply stick with what's worked for the Bruins through the first two games of this third-round series.
But Acciari is not completely foreign to the Nordstrom-Kuraly combination, as this was the Black and Gold's fourth line at both the end of the Toronto series and start of the Columbus series, and were effective throughout the season.
"That line should keep on motoring," Cassidy offered. "They had a real good game the other night. They've been excellent for us all year, and we've probably used four or five different guys in that role all year on our fourth line.
“So Noel goes in, and it’s business as usual after that.”
Averaging 12:57 of time on ice this postseason, the 27-year-old Acciari has one goal and an assist in 11 games, and ranks fifth among Boston skaters with 38 hits, and is averaging
The Bruins are 2-0 in Game 4 showdowns this spring.