With Raanta ‘nicked up,’ Hurricanes start Kochetkov in Game 3

With Raanta 'nicked up,' Hurricanes start Kochetkov in Game 3
Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes will roll with Pyotr Kochetkov as their starting goalie vs. the Bruins in Game 3 on Friday.

While Antti Raanta is at least healthy enough to back up Kochetkov, coach Rod Brind’Amour described Raanta as still “nicked up.”

Hurricanes start Kochetkov vs. Bruins in Game 3

Kochetkov replaced Raanta during the Hurricanes’ Game 2 win after David Pastrnak hit Raanta in the head. During that Game 2, Kochetkov himself had an incident with a star Bruins forward, in that case Brad Marchand.

The NHL fined Brad Marchand $5K for slashing the Hurricanes’ third goalie option. While Raanta isn’t 100-percent, Frederik Andersen has yet to appear in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Brind’Amour said it “can’t be more obvious” that the Bruins are “targeting” the Hurricanes’ goalies. While that’s clearly just his opinion, it’s a situation to watch as this series shifts to Boston.

For Game 3, the Hurricanes are only making that largely involuntary goalie change, but the Bruins present a different look.

To start, Jeremy Swayman is sliding into the Bruins’ net instead of Linus Ullmark. While goaltending isn’t the only issue for the B’s, it makes some sense to try something different.

After months of spreading the wealth, the Bruins are also loading back up. They’re reuniting “The Perfection Line” of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak.

Will that top-heavy approach work better? Could the change of scenery make the difference? It won’t take long to find out.

CAROLINA HURRICANES v. BOSTON BRUINS (CAR leads 2-0)

Game 1: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 1
Game 2: Hurricanes 5, Bruins 2
Game 3: May 6, 7 p.m. ET – Hurricanes at Bruins (TNT, SN360, TVA Sports)
Game 4: May 8, 12:30 p.m. ET – Hurricanes at Bruins (ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports)
*Game 5: May 10, 7 p.m. ET – Bruins at Hurricanes (ESPN, SN360, TVA Sports)
*Game 6: May 12, TBD – Hurricanes at Bruins (TBD)
*Game 7: May 14, TBD – Bruins at Hurricanes (TBD)

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.

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