Boston Bruins

The Bruins will have to play without defenseman Hampus Lindholm in their next game, but the latest update isn’t all bad.

Head coach Bruce Cassidy delivered fresh news on Thursday about Lindholm’s upper body injury, suffered during the Bruins’ Game 2 loss Wednesday night. Lindholm is out for Game 3, and it’s unclear exactly what type of upper-body injury he’s dealing with. But he did look wobbly getting up from the hit by the Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov, so “concussion” is the obvious road to take here.

The silver lining to this is that Lindholm is already back in Boston and didn’t need to stay behind in Raleigh after the game. “He traveled back, he’s not available [Friday], so we’ll go from there,” Cassidy said.

It’s not impossible that Lindholm flew back to Boston after suffering a concussion, but it seems unlikely he’d get right on a plane if he were still feeling acute or severe symptoms of a head injury. Obviously, the hope is that it’s more like a shoulder or chest problem, and if it’s a head injury, it’s not a long-term concern.

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Either way, it’s far from ideal to be without Lindholm, the Bruins’ major trade deadline acquisition, on the blue line in Game 3. Cassidy told reporters that Mike Reilly “right now would be the obvious choice to go in” on defense. He’ll have a chance to play the left side with either Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo.

The Bruins are also expected to make regular lineup changes for Game 3 Friday night at TD Garden. Cassidy confirmed that Jeremy Swayman will start in goal, while it’s possible they also change up the bottom-six forwards.

Bruins-Hurricanes Game 3 takes place Friday at 7 p.m. in Boston. You can get the call of the game on 98.5 The Sports Hub, starting with pregame at 6:30.

PHOTOS: Bruins take on Hurricanes in Game 2 of 2022 playoff series

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.

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Bruins can't let 'missed opportunities' of Game 1 loss linger over them

  • May 2, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta (32) stops Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) shot during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

    May 2, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta (32) stops Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) shot during the second period in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

    Bruins need some more juice from their power play

    As if the Bruins’ late-season power-play issues weren’t a big enough problem, there’s no denying that the Bruins are up against it this round against a penalty kill that’s straight-up vicious. The league’s top unit during the regular season by way of a staggering 88 percent success rate on the kill, the Hurricanes are the masters of eliminating time and space on the penalty kill. It’s almost as if they gain a skater with the way they get you stuck in the mud.

    But the Bruins don’t want to outright admit defeat when up a man, and need more punch from the unit, as Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy explained his team’s Game 1 loss and 0-for-3 night on the man advantage.

    “We can’t rely on our power play against the No. 1 P.K. but it does have to give us some juice,” Cassidy admitted. “And I thought the first couple we did, we did get some looks.”

    Craig Smith’s first-period look was one of the team’s better ones, and the Bruins were able to create some net-front chances against Raanta, though nothing beat the Finnish-born veteran for an extra-man tally. But where the B’s power play really let them down was in the third period and with the team down by two, as the Black and Gold put forth a stubborn-as-hell power play, with multiple denials right at the attacking blue line.

    “The third one was disappointing,” said Cassidy. “Our entries when we did get in, we mishandled some pucks or didn’t execute once we got it back. It’s been a challenge for us the last month on the power play. Those guys have to take a little more ownership of it. Those are our top guys, so hopefully they’ll be better at it Wednesday because we do have to get some life from it. Just because they have the best PK doesn’t mean we can’t score on it.”

  • May 2, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) comes off the ice against the Carolina Hurricanes before the game in game one of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

    May 2, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) comes off the ice against the Carolina Hurricanes before the game in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

    Bruins should stick with Linus Ullmark for Game 2

    If you look at the box score, you’re likely to think that Linus Ullmark’s first career playoff start was a poor one.

    Hit for four goals on 24 shots by the night’s end, Ullmark’s night was certainly better by good ol’ fashioned the eye-test metric. It took a killer deflection, a sea of humanity in front, and a two-on-one to beat Ullmark for the first three goals against. You wanna get on him the fourth goal, sure, but the game was basically decided by then, so I have a tough time thinking it’s worthy of scrapping him out of the starter’s crease for Game 2.

    In fact, it’s probably the last thing I want the Bruins to do entering Wednesday’s showdown at PNC Arena.

    This is all completely new for Ullmark, who never even qualified for the postseason during his time with the Sabres, and what you saw on Monday was probably 95 percent good. Ullmark was tracking pucks well, and kept a sputtering and frustrated Bruins squad in it throughout the night. His finish to the regular season (9-1-0 and a .945 save percentage over his final 12 appearances) should also afford him more than a single start.

    But if there’s a time to go to Swayman, it’s in Game 3, with the B’s able to dictate the matchups a bit more with the benefit of last change, and with at least one game to officially see if the late-season shine has worn off Ullmark.

    “We’ll let you know [Tuesday],” Cassidy said postgame when asked about sticking with Ullmark for Game 2. “I’m not faulting our goaltender for this.”

  • May 2, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in game one of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

    May 2, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) celebrates his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

    One positive in this game: Taylor Hall

    If you’re looking for an on-ice positive from a night of pure frustration (aren’t the playoffs just the best/worst for your day-to-day health and overall enjoyment of the human existence?), Taylor Hall was your guy Monday night.

    I’ve said and written it before, but I think the 2021 postseason experience was an illuminating one for Hall, as he learned just how hard it is to score consistently this time of year. Hall himself has talked about this, and how it’s helped him realize how he has to elevate himself this time of year.

    And his start to the 2022 postseason was his confirmation that well done is always better than well said.

    Boston’s lone goal scorer in the losing effort, you saw Hall try to basically will the B’s into a tied game on his own, and he even came through with a fantastic backcheck to deny Carolina a chance the other way. Another thing Monday confirmed for me: I want to see Hall embrace that shoot-first mentality we’ve seen in recent games. The shot is too good for him to constantly defer, as good as linemate David Pastrnak can be as a shooting threat.

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