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Second Round

Hurricanes hopeful Svechnikov will play Game 3 against Islanders

Forward will take warmups, has been sidelined with concussion

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes are hoping Andrei Svechnikov will play Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the New York Islanders at PNC Arena on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The forward will take warmups and notify the Hurricanes if he's ready to go. He has not played since sustaining a concussion during a fight with Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in Game 3 of the first round April 15. 

The Hurricanes lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

 

[RELATED: Complete Islanders vs. Hurricanes series coverage]

 

Svechnikov practiced Tuesday, skating at left wing on the fourth line alongside center Clark Bishop and right wing Patrick Brown.

On Wednesday, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour indicated that if Svechnikov plays, it would be in a role he is accustomed to.

"You kind of see how it's going," Brind'Amour said. "As a player, I remember when I got in I want to play. It's worse when you kind of baby me in. That doesn't help."

"The difference is he hasn't had a lot of practice time, so game conditioning is going to be a little off, but the best way to get back into it is to play your normal role. So I think that would be my attention right away, but again you've got to kind of just see how things are playing out."

Svechnikov said Tuesday he started to feel normal a couple days ago and hopes to be play soon after missing six games.

"It's pretty hard watching out there," Svechnikov said. "How the team is playing, it's pretty hard."

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm1: Svechnikov rips home one-timer

Svechnikov has three points (two goals, one assist) in three Stanley Cup Playoff games. Selected with the No. 2 pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, the 19-year-old had 37 points (20 goals, 17 assists) in 82 regular-season games.

The Hurricanes have been cautious not to rush him, but they'd love to have him back in the lineup.

"He loves the game. He's always got a smile on his face," defenseman Brett Pesce said. "I think he had a smile for an hour out there today [in practice]. So it's great to see the kid back and he's a big part of our team. We're going to need him here soon."

Goalie Petr Mrazek skated Wednesday, three days after leaving Carolina's 2-1 win in Game 2 during the second period because of a lower-body injury. Curtis McElhinney will start Game 3 for the Hurricanes with Mrazek a possibility for Game 4 on Friday.

"We're lucky," Brind'Amour said. "The report I got is it's not as bad as we feared, but you've got to be careful with it because you don't want to this to turn into something. So it's a nagging thing and I don't know how long it's going to go, but it shouldn't be too long is what I've been told."

Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Monday, likely will back up McElhinney, who made 17 saves in relief of Mrazek in Game 2.

Forward Jordan Martinook (lower body) also skated and could return after missing the first two games of the second round.

"We want to make sure they're comfortable," Brind'Amour said about Svechnikov and Martinook. "They didn't get a lot of practice time and so that's a big thing, especially when you're out for a while and you know what you're getting into when you get back in. You've got to make sure you're 100 percent comfortable of being ready. That's their call."

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