Boston at Carolina
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
RALEIGH – The banged-up Boston Bruins play their third game in four days while continuing a four-game road trip Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes and could be without their leading scorer for a second straight contest. Brad Marchand, who boasts team bests of 29 goals and 69 points in 53 games, missed Sunday’s 3-1 loss in Chicago with an upper-body injury, adding to the list of injured Boston players.
Patrice Bergeron (fractured foot) and rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy (sprained left MCL) are out for an extended period of time while fellow top four blueliner Torey Krug left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Carolina is fading fast in the Eastern Conference wild-card race after a 6-3 loss to the Rangers in New York on Monday dropped them to 3-7-2 in their last 12 games. Time is running out on the Hurricanes, who trail New Jersey by seven points for the final playoff spot with 13 games remaining. The Bruins won the first two of three meetings this season – 7-1 on Jan. 6 and 4-3 in overtime Feb. 27, both in Boston – with Bergeron recording four goals and Riley Nash scoring in each game.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet 1, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario; NESN (Boston), FS Carolinas
ABOUT THE BRUINS (43-16-8): Brian Gionta, who captained the United States in last month’s Winter Olympics, recorded two goals and four assists in his first five games with the club before being held off the scoresheet Sunday. David Pastrnak (24 goals, 64 points) was also quiet Sunday after piling up two goals and seven assists in his first five games in March. David Backes will return to the lineup after serving a three-game suspension for delivering a head shot against Detroit’s Frans Nielsen on March 6.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (30-28-11): Teuvo Teravainen (20 goals) scored for the fifth time in seven games Monday and leads the team with 54 points. Right on his heels is Sebastian Aho, whose assist against the Rangers gave him 53 points and six in his last seven games. Cam Ward is expected to be in goal after Scott Darling lost Monday for the fourth time in his last five starts and saw his save percentage plummet to .873 in three March contests.
1. Boston has won seven straight against the Metropolitan and is 14-3-4 versus the division this season.
2. Carolina RW Lee Stempniak, whose season didn’t start until Jan. 12 because of back and upper-body injuries, scored his first goal of the campaign Monday.
3. Marchand was named the NHL’s Second Star after recording four goals and four assists in three games last week.