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Conference Final

Wagner won't play for Bruins in Game 4 against Hurricanes

Forward having undisclosed injury evaluated in Boston; Acciari to play on fourth line

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Chris Wagner of the Boston Bruins has returned to Boston for testing on an undisclosed injury he sustained Tuesday, and the forward will not play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Wagner was injured when he blocked a slap shot from Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk with his right arm at 14:56 of the third period.

Noel Acciari will return to the lineup and play in Wagner's spot at right wing on Boston's fourth line, with center Sean Kuraly and left wing Joakim Nordstrom.

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Hurricanes series coverage]

 

Wagner had replaced Acciari in the lineup for Game 5 of the second round against the Columbus Blue Jackets after Acciari sustained an upper-body injury. He missed four games with the injury and was a healthy scratch in Game 3 against the Hurricanes.

The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series 3-0.

"We'll miss [Wagner], but the guy going in for him, Noel, is very similar, so we don't lose much," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "That's no disrespect to Chris, that's maybe a compliment to Noel. That's just what he brings so that line should keep on motoring."

Wagner scored two goals in three games against the Hurricanes, including the goal that gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 1:21 of the second period of Game 3.

"You never want to see that," Boston center Charlie Coyle said of Wagner's injury. "You want to keep battling with your teammates. You never want to see injuries like that. That's a testament to him and what he's willing to give for this team. To block a shot like that, I mean, that gets us fired up. It's the little things and they add up. That's a big loss for us."

Video: BOS@CAR, Gm3: Wagner redirects home opening tally

Acciari has two points (one goal, one assist) in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"I'm excited to get back with those guys," Acciari said of returning to a line with Kuraly and Nordstrom. "[Wagner] was having a great couple games there. He scored big goals and we're definitely going to miss him. But with that being said, I'm going to do my best to kind of pick up where he left off and just try to keep it going."

Boston's fourth line not only generated the first goal in Game 3, it combined for eight shots on goal, including a team-high seven from Kuraly, 14 shot attempts, six hits, including four by Wagner, and two blocked shots.

"They create such good energy for us and have gotten us into games, had some big shifts and [Wagner] has been a huge part of that," Coyle said. "Blocking shots, that is a big part. We're definitely playing for him and the other guys who are injured and can't be out there with us. That's how [Wagner] is in a nutshell, he does whatever for the team."

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