BRIGHTON, Mass – Noel Acciari (upper body) won’t play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday afternoon against the Carolina Hurricanes, but he’s trending toward a return in the series after rejoining practice on Saturday.
Acciari donned a maroon non-contact jersey while skating with his B’s teammates at Warrior Ice Arena after missing the last three playoff games with an upper-body injury, and Bruce Cassidy said he may be an option when the series turns to Carolina next week.
“[Acciari] won’t play tomorrow,” said Cassidy, of Game 2’s Sunday matinee against the Hurricanes. “He’s doing well. He should be a full practice [participant] for Monday. We’ll see what we’re doing [as a team] that day, but he’ll be ready whatever the case may be. Hopefully, that allows him to play Tuesday and then we’ll make our decision then.
“When you’re winning you don’t want to change a lot. But I have certainly done that in the past depending on [developments in the series].”
Obviously, Chris Wagner has played well in Acciari’s absence and even scored a goal in the Game 1 win over the Hurricanes on Thursday night, so it won’t be an easy decision for Cassidy when the time comes. Acciari has been solid with a goal and two points in 11 playoff games for the B’s with an even plus/minus rating and some pretty heavy hits along the way. Cassidy has never shied away from making those tough decisions, particularly with a fourth line that’s been strong for the Bruins in this playoff run since Sean Kuraly returned midway through the Toronto series.
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings for Game 2 based on Saturday’s off-day practice for Boston:
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