Bruins’ star defenceman Charlie McAvoy in COVID protocol, out vs. Hurricanes

Boston Bruins defenceman Charlie McAvoy. (AP/file).

The Boston Bruins took a major hit when defenceman Charlie McAvoy was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol less than an hour from the opening faceoff, ruling him out for Sunday’s Game 4 in Boston against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Josh Brown, who appeared in six games for the Bruins after joining them from Ottawa at the trade deadline, was activated to join the lineup.

A 24-year-old Boston University product who was taken in the first round of the 2016 draft, McAvoy finished in the top 10 of the Norris Trophy voting in each of the past two seasons. This season, he had career highs of 10 goals and 46 assists, leading all Bruins defensemen in scoring and with an average of 24 minutes, 39 seconds on the ice per game.

The Bruins are down 2-1 in their first-round series, but won Game 3, 4-2, thanks in part to a steady performance by McAvoy, who was held off the scoresheet but logged 23:06 in ice time, second only to fellow defenceman Derek Forbort, who had 23:07.

–With files from The Associated Press

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