Sports

Canes may get help at forward for Game 6 against Caps

Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov talks for the first time about his fight with Alex Ovechkin: ‘I am not superhero’

Svechnikov who was sidelined this week with a concussion following the fight with Ovechkin talks with the media, he hopes to play in game six.
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Svechnikov who was sidelined this week with a concussion following the fight with Ovechkin talks with the media, he hopes to play in game six.

After the Carolina Hurricanes’ Sunday practice, it appeared they would be without injured forwards Andrei Svechnikov, Jordan Martinook and Micheal Ferland in Monday’s playoff game against the Washington Capitals.

That changed Monday morning. While the Canes did not have a team morning skate at PNC Arena, all three players were on the ice and skated and Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour did not rule them out of Game 6, an elimination game for the Canes.

“We’ll find out who’s able to go and make decisions from there,” Brind’Amour said.

Svechnikov has been in the concussion protocol since his Game 3 fight with Caps star Alex Ovechkin. Ferland also left Game 3 with an upper-body injury after a collision with the Caps’ Tom Wilson, and Martinook suffered a lower-body injury in the first period of Game 4.

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Washington Capital’s Alex Ovechkin (8) fights with Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov (37) during the first period of their first round Stanley Cup game on Monday, April 15, 2019 at the PNC Arena on Raleigh, N.C. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

Svechnikov, wearing a yellow no-contact jersey, went through the morning skate Saturday in Washington before Game 5 and practiced with the team Sunday at PNC Arena. But Brind’Amour said Sunday it was “highly doubtful” Svechnikov would play Monday, noting the Russian rookie would not be cleared to play until going through a contact practice.

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Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov (37) is attended to after being knocked to the ice during a fight with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin during the first period on Monday, April 15, 2019 at the PNC Arena on Raleigh, N.C. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

Svechnikov, who scored twice in the opening game of the series, was in a normal practice jersey Monday while skating.

Neither Martinook nor Ferland were at Sunday’s practice. Brind’Amour said not as much has been made of Martinook being out of the lineup but that the Canes missed him in Game 5, when the Caps rolled to a 6-0 win at Capital One Arena.

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Carolina Hurricanes’ Micheal Ferland (79) listens to coach Rod Brind’Amour during practice on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

“On our team he’s super, super important for the way he plays but also what he brings to the locker room,” Brind’Amour said. “If he can play, and I know he wants to ... he’s going to do everything he can to get in there.”

Brind’Amour said the Canes have “more or less flushed” the 6-0 loss in Game 5, which gave the Caps a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

“There wasn’t much for us to show and talk about that was positive,” he said. “Move on. That’s how we’re approaching it. I really feel that game, the guys have let it go and we’ll play much more the way we play. You’ll see that. Whether it’s good enough to win, that’s obviously who knows, but I think we’ll get a much better effort.”

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.


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