Svechnikov, Martinook returns give Hurricanes Game 3 boost

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The Carolina Hurricanes enter Game 3 down a few players thanks to injuries suffered during their gritty Game 2 win against the New York Islanders, but Carolina’s getting some key names back for Game 3 on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN), too.

For the first time since suffering a scary-looking concussion from that fight with Alex Ovechkin in Round 1, Andrei Svechnikov returns for the Hurricanes. Jordan Martinook is also a noteworthy addition, as he’s back after going in and out of the Hurricanes’ lineup with injuries during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This means Carolina’s getting some important players back, especially when you consider that Svechnikov’s enjoyed a bigger role as Rod Brind’Amour gains increasing trust in the rookie. It’s also important because of all the injuries that are piling up. Most prominently, Petr Mrazek left Game 2 with a lower-body injury, and he’ll remain out, so Curtis McElhinney gets his first playoff start. Trevor van Riemsdyk and Saku Mäenalanen also suffered injuries in Game 2.

[More on McElhinney starting Game 3.]

To get an idea of who’s suiting up and who is not, it’s probably easiest just to consider how the Hurricanes’ lines looked during warm-ups:

This seems like a sensible strategy from Brind’Amour. Rather than asking Svechnikov and Martinook to dive right into the middle of the deep end, they’re being eased into third and fourth-line roles respectively. The dream scenario is that the two provide the depth boost that will help Carolina improve on its 2-0 series lead, whether scoring continues to be scarce or things open up. But it also provides some insulation from the less-ideal scenario of one or both of them not being up to speed.

Since we have the Hurricanes’ lineup there, here’s a look at what the Islanders are rolling with for Game 3:

Check out Game 3, which is about to begin on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN (livestream).

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.