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Bruins down another defenseman as McAvoy misses Game 4

Charlie McAvoy

RALEIGH, NC - MAY 2: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins skates into the corner to play the puck in Game One of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes on May 2, 2022 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

[UPDATE: The Bruins would go on to win Game 4, 5-2, and even the series with the Hurricanes.]

Already playing without one of their top defenseman and facing a 2-1 series deficit, the Boston Bruins got some more bad news before Game 4 of their First Round series against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday when it was revealed that Charlie McAvoy would not play.

McAvoy is out after being placed in the league’s COVID protocol.

The NHL and NHLPA reached an agreement that no testing would be done post-All-Star break unless a player or staff member was symptomatic.

Boston is already playing without defenseman Hampus Lindholm who was injured earlier in the series when he was on the receiving end of a huge hit from Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov.

With McAvoy and Lindholm out the Bruins opened Sunday’s game with the following defense pairs:

Matt Grzelcyk - Brandon Carlo Derek Forbort - Connor Clifton Mike Reilly - Josh Brown

It is not ideal for a team that is already facing a series deficit and playing a team that has had its number all season.

McAvoy is not only the Bruins’ top defender, he has developed into one of the best all-around defenseman in hockey. Being without even one of McAvoy or Lindholm is going to be a problem for the Bruins. Being without both of them is a major blow to their lineup.