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Mrazek starts for Hurricanes against Bruins in Game 1 of Eastern Final

Goalie hadn't played since lower-body injury in second round against Islanders

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

BOSTON -- Petr Mrazek is the starting goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at TD Garden on Thursday (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Mrazek hadn't played since April 28, when he sustained a lower-body injury during the second period of Game 2 of the second round against the New York Islanders. Curtis McElhinney entered that game and made 17 saves in a 2-1 win, then started and won Game 3 and Game 4 (each 5-2) to sweep the best-of-7 series.

"We're not going to put [Petr in] if he is not 100 percent mentally and physically ready to play," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said earlier Thursday. "We don't need to. We have another guy that is very capable."

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Hurricanes series coverage]

 

McElhinney is backing up Mrazek, who returned to practice Monday after starting the first nine Stanley Cup Playoff games (5-3, 2.22 goals-against average, .913 save percentage).

Mrazek was 23-14-3 with a 2.39 GAA, .914 save percentage and four shutouts in 40 starts this regular season. He is 101-78-26 with a 2.61 GAA and .911 save percentage in 223 NHL games (200 starts) with the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Hurricanes, and 9-9 with a 2.09 GAA, .920 save percentage and five shutouts in 20 playoff games (19 starts).

McElhinney is 3-0 with a 1.56 GAA and .947 save percentage this postseason. The 35-year-old became the oldest goalie to make his first NHL playoff start in Game 3 against the Islanders.

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