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Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek returns to practice, could play in Game 1

By
Connor Grott
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek had a full practice Monday. He could return for the Hurricanes' opening game against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals. File Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek had a full practice Monday. He could return for the Hurricanes' opening game against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals. File Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo

May 7 (UPI) -- Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek returned to practice after missing the team's previous two playoff games with a lower-body injury.

Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour told reporters Monday that the goaltender had a full practice session with no restrictions.

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"He was in [the] full practice today with no limitations, so that's a positive," Brind'Amour said. "I'm not going to make any decisions [Monday], but getting more guys back is nice."

Mrazek suffered the lower-body injury during the second period in Game 2 against the New York Islanders on April 28. Curtis McElhinney replaced him in the contest, recording 17 saves in the Hurricanes' comeback win.

"I felt very good [Monday], good sign," Mrazek told reporters. "The injury wasn't that bad. I felt 120 percent [Monday], to be honest."

McElhinney, 35, filled in for Mrazek during the two games he missed and won Games 3 and 4 of the second-round series. He became the oldest goalie in NHL history to make his first playoff start.

"He was outstanding those two games," Mrazek said of McElhinney. "I'm very happy he played like he did and we finished the series in four games."

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The Hurricanes play the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals. The Bruins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games, capped by a 3-0 win Monday night.

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