The Carolina Hurricanes could very well be without one of their young stars for the next game in their opening round series against the Washington Capitals. Andrei Svechnikov is in the concussion protocol after going to the hospital following his fight with Alex Ovechkin last night. Svechnikov was hit hard by a punch from Ovechkin and appeared to hit his head on the ice as he went down. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour told reporters today including Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post that he doesn’t expect Svechnikov to play in game four on Thursday night.
The 19-year old Svechnikov had taken his game to another level in the second half of the season and playoffs, and actually had three points in the first two games of the series. It’s a big blow for a Carolina team that has gotten themselves back into the series with a convincing win, and one that certainly will shake up their forward group. Micheal Ferland also left the game with an injury but his status was not updated today.
Carolina trail in the series 2-1 and have a big hill to climb, but have exposed some weaknesses on the Capitals blue line and will try to exploit that again in Thursday’s matchup. Even if Svechnikov feels up to it, he’s unlikely to get back into the lineup as the team will not risk the future health of the second-overall pick.