fb-pixel Skip to main content
Bruins notebook

Hampus Lindholm exits Game 2 after absorbing hard hit from Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov

Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm is floored by Hurricanes star Andrei Svechnikov during the second period.Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

RALEIGH, N.C. — A vicious hit by Hurricanes star Andrei Svechnikov knocked Hampus Lindholm out of Game 2 with what the Bruins called an upper-body injury.

Lindholm’s status going forward, as the Bruins trail the series, 2-0, after Wednesday’s 5-2 loss, is uncertain.

“He’s not doing well,” coach Bruce Cassidy said.

The hit occurred with 2:54 left in the second period. Brandon Carlo won a puck along the boards and sent a pass behind the net to Lindholm. As Lindholm made his turn, Svechnikov had him in his crosshairs. Svechnikov threw his left shoulder into Lindholm, connecting with the defenseman’s chest, neck, and head.


Lindholm snapped backward, his head hitting the ice as he landed.

Cassidy took exception to the hit but said he would wait to see how the league viewed it.

“It looked high to me,” Cassidy said. “That’s why he left the game. He has an upper-body injury. [The hit] was on time, certainly. But it looked high. They didn’t see it that way. Sometimes those get reviewed, sometimes they don’t. I don’t know if this one will. I have not heard anything. I guess we’ll see on that.”

Lindholm got to his knees, then to his feet on his own power, but he stumbled as he tried to get his bearings before goalie Linus Ullmark came to his aid.

As a scrum broke out, assistant trainer Dustin Stuck came off the bench to help Lindholm.

Lindholm had to be helped off the ice by Stuck, Jake DeBrusk, and Taylor Hall.

Hampus Lindholm is helped from the ice by Jake DeBrusk and Taylor Hall in the second period of Wednesday's game in Carolina.Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

Svechnikov, who ended up in the penalty box for roughing after a dust-up with Carlo but was not penalized for the hit, expressed some remorse.

“Obviously, I like the physical part of the game, but I feel bad for that guy,” Svechnikov said. “It was a pretty hard hit and you know, I was in that spot where I kind of have to hit it and I had time there, and he didn’t see me. I had to do that, but I feel bad and sorry for him.”


The Bruins acquired Lindholm from Anaheim before the trade deadline. In 10 regular-season games with the Bruins, Lindholm notched five assists and was plus-10. His size and ability to break the puck out of the defensive zone made him an instant spark along the blue line.

Lindholm had been largely on the top defensive pair with Charlie McAvoy. After the Bruins’ 5-1 loss in Game 1, Cassidy decided to pair Lindholm with Carlo.

“Obviously, I hate to see that,” said Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron of the hit. “Basically, we’re behind him or thinking of him and see what happens. I don’t know any more than that. That being said, we have a great team of trainers and medical staff that’s going to take care of him.”

Back together

Looking for a jolt late in the third period, Cassidy reunited the line of Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand.

It paid off when Bergeron scored his second goal of the night on a deflection at 12:21.

“Not much was happening and they’ve been together, and sometimes you get a lift and something we may have to do going forward,” said Cassidy. “It was always going to be something we would consider if need be.”

The Bruins have been outscored, 26-4, over five games against the Hurricanes this season.


“We’ve got to get something going,” Cassidy said. “Moving one player off the line, I don’t think will solve all that. We need to get some other lines closer to the net, finishing some plays.”

Bouncing back

One of the Bruins’ signatures during the regular season was not letting losses pile up.

Until April, they were the only team in the NHL that hadn’t lost three straight games in 2021-22.

Going into Game 2, after letting Game 1 turn sideways in a 5-1 loss, the Bruins kept that in mind.

“Since I’ve been here, part of the culture in the room is we don’t let things slide,” said defenseman Charlie McAvoy before Game 2. “I think it’s a mind-set that, in the regular season especially, we don’t let things compound as far as losing games consecutively.

“It’s our mentality to get back on track right away. And we tend to do a good job with that. Obviously, in the playoffs, you know, it’s even more crucial to get back on track faster.”

Coming in, the Bruins were 16-34 in best-of-seven series after losing Game 1. They were 22-28 in Game 2 after trailing, 1-0.

The Hurricanes have had the Bruins’ number this season, sweeping the regular-season series overwhelmingly and winning the first two playoff games in similar fashion.

The first adjustment Cassidy made was breaking up the top defense pair. For Game 2, Matt Grzelcyk moved to the top pair with McAvoy. Lindholm (before exiting with an injury in the second period) went to the second pair with Carlo.


“I think there’s a familiarity with both guys now,” McAvoy said of Grzelcyk and Lindholm. “I feel comfortable playing with anyone. I trust whoever my partner is. We’re going to make plays together and we’re going to do the job.”

The Bruins are 2-26 when they fall behind, 2-0, in a best of seven series. Both wins came in the same playoff run. They battled back to beat the Canadiens in seven games in the first round in 2011, then overcame 2-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final against the Canucks.

“I think our guys, they’ve been around,” Cassidy said. “They’ve been through a lot of playoffs. Our leaders — even our young guys like Pastrnak, McAvoy, Carlo — they’ve been through a lot of playoff series. It doesn’t always go the way it’s scripted right out of the gate.

“Sometimes it goes great. You get on a roll, sometimes you’ve got to battle through a little harder. So there’s no easy games. I think our guys truly understand that. And the flip side of that, every game is a new entity, starting over. I think our guys have recognized that.”

Lead story

The Bruins still don’t know what it’s like to play with a lead against the Hurricanes this season.

They have played played from behind in all five meetings, regular season and playoffs.

The Hurricanes are 40-4-6 when scoring first, including 21-1-2 at home. When allowing the first goal, they are 15-16-2 (9-7-2 at home).


Bruce Cassidy and the Bruins' bench look on during Wednesday's Game 2 loss to Carolina.Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

The Bruins, meanwhile, are accustomed to being in control. During the regular season, they were 37-10-2 when scoring first, 14-16-3 when allowing the first goal.

“You’re never out of it, but just the comfort level is there for everybody and maybe the other team starts chasing it a little bit,” Cassidy said of playing with a lead. “That’s typically what can happen as the game goes on. And that opens the game up and maybe they get out of their structure a little bit. So you know, there’s advantages on both sides.”

Future king?

Nick Foligno was chosen as the Bruins’ nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, given to the player who “exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.” Foligno regularly made virtual visits to local children’s hospitals. Inspired by their daughter, Milana, Foligno and his wife, Janelle, started the Heart’s Playbook Foundation devoted to heart health ... Cassidy and the coaching staff watched Tuesday’s games at the team hotel. They didn’t make it through the Penguins’ triple-overtime win over the Rangers. “Saw the highlights, though,” he said. “Interesting game.”

Julian Benbow can be reached at julian.benbow@globe.com.