Bruins

Charlie McAvoy won't play Game 4 vs. Hurricanes after entering COVID protocol

Bruins

The Boston Bruins will be without their best defenseman for Sunday afternoon's pivotal Game 4 against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.

The Bruins announced shortly before puck drop that Charlie McAvoy has been placed in the COVID-19 protocol, thus making him unavailable.

Bruins owe Game 3 win to Forbort's fantastic defense, penalty killing

McAvoy is a top-five defenseman in the NHL and arguably the most valuable player on the Bruins, especially when you consider Boston already is without its second-best d-man, Hampus Lindholm, after he suffered an upper body injury in Game 2. Lindholm missed Game 3 and won't play in Game 4, either.

Here are the likely defense pairings for Sunday without McAvoy and Lindholm:

Matt Grzelcyk--Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort--Connor Clifton

Mike Reilly--Josh Brown

Brown will be making his Bruins playoff debut in Game 4. He was acquired by Boston at the trade deadline in March and made six regular season appearances for the B's.

The Hurricanes lead the series 2-1 entering Sunday.