Boston Bruins

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck against Vegas Golden Knights in the first period of their game at T-Mobile Arena on March 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bruins defeated the Golden Knights 5-2. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Bruins are not expected to have Charlie McAvoy available for Tuesday’s Game 5 at PNC Arena.

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Placed in the NHL’s COVID protocols Sunday after a positive test, the do-it-all defender remained in the protocol Monday, and was not expected to join the Bruins for their Monday flight down to Raleigh.

“He’s in protocol,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “And obviously a different situation [than Lindholm], but same information for me — doctors will let me know when he’s out of protocol. I’m not sure how he gets out of protocol, I just know they’ll let me know when he’s out.”

It’s important to note that the league no longer tests players daily (they stopped after the All-Star break), so McAvoy’s positive test came as a result of him reporting an illness or showing symptoms, and that this wasn’t a testing issue like the Bruins and others have experienced and ultimately ‘benefitted’ from in the past.

“I spoke to him [Sunday], he’s feeling better, so that’s a positive,” Cassidy shared. “But [as for] when he’s available, I don’t have an answer today.”

The league adheres to the CDC-recommended five-day isolation period from the onset of symptoms, meaning McAvoy could in theory return for Thursday’s Game 6 at TD Garden assuming all goes well. It doesn’t have to be five days, however, as McAvoy could also test out with two negatives 24 hours apart.

The Bruins, for what it’s worth, are not expecting that to be the case in time for McAvoy to rejoin the team for the Game 5 showdown against the Hurricanes, and instead turning their hopes towards a potential Game 6 ‘best case scenario’ return.

But the Bruins could get some good news on the backend between now and Game 5, as Hampus Lindholm took part in Monday’s optional practice and could be cleared in time for Tuesday’s contest.

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