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Injuries could force changes to Hurricanes lineup

McClement, Nestrasil could miss game against Bruins

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

BRUINS (33-22-6) at HURRICANES (28-24-10)

TV: 7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NESN, FS-CR, NHL.TV

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will be without three regulars when when they host the Boston Bruins on Friday.

Forwards Jay McClement and Andrej Nestrasil were injured in a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, and defenseman Justin Faulk will miss his second straight game and eighth in the past nine with a lower-body injury.

Brad Malone and Nathan Gerbe will play.

Nestrasil left the game late in the second period after a hard hit from Toronto forward Nazem Kadri. Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Nestrasil injured his back.

"He was cleared to fly home today, he will be looked at by our doctors, and they will make a decision what's going on from there," Peters said.

McClement left the game after his first shift with an upper-body injury.

The Bruins are coming off a 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. Jimmy Hayes, Landon Ferraro and Brad Marchand scored on consecutive shots in the third period as the Bruins pulled away.

"We still didn't have our best game," Marchand said. "We have to have a better first period. But the way we were able to continue to push in the third period and have that killer instinct, that's something we want to continue to work on."

The Hurricanes, who trail the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, are playing their third game in four nights.

"We've played three in four (nights) before, and our third game was actually pretty good," said Boston coach Claude Julien. "So we should expect a team that's desperate because they're certainly not going to throw the towel in."

Despite sitting in third place in the Atlantic Division with 72 points, Julien feels the Bruins are just as vulnerable as the Hurricanes in the tightly contested Eastern Conference.

"I don't know if it matters what message we give our team, except that we need the wins as much as they do," Julien said. "We're in a playoff spot right now, but it doesn't mean we're going to stay there if we don't win hockey games."

Here are the projected lineups:

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brett Connolly
Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Jimmy Hayes
Zac Rinaldo - Joonas Kemppainen - Landon Ferraro

Zdeno Chara - Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug - Dennis Seidenberg
Joe Morrow - Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask
Jonas Gustavsson

Injured: Chris Kelly (broken femur)
Scratched: Tyler Randell, Zach Trotman

Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Phillip Di Giuseppe  
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Riley Nash  
Chris Terry - Brad Malone - Nathan Gerbe

Jaccob Slavin - John-Michael Liles
Ron Hainsey - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - Michal Jordan

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

Injured: Justin Faulk (leg), Jay McClement (upper body), Andre Nestrasil (lower body), James Wisniewski (knee)
Scratched: none

Status report: Malone, who was placed on waivers by the Hurricanes on Thursday, cleared at noon on Friday.

Who's hot: Beleskey has three goals and an assist in the past three games. … Pastrnak scored twice against the Penguins and had two assists in a 6-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. … Nordstrom has scored in three of Carolina's past four games. … Jordan Staal has eight points in his previous seven games.

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