Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) is unlikely to play in Game 3 against the New York Islanders on Wednesday night. Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo
April 30 (UPI) -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek is unlikely to play in Game 3 against the New York Islanders.
Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour told reporters Tuesday that Mrazek has a "nagging" lower-body injury that will likely force him to sit out of Carolina's upcoming meeting with the Islanders. Brind'Amour labeled the starting goalie as day-to-day.
"We're lucky," Brind'Amour said. "The report I got is it's not as bad as we feared, but you've got to be careful with it because you don't want this to turn into something. So it's a nagging thing and I don't know how long it's going to go, but it shouldn't be too long is what I've been told."
With Mrazek unlikely to start Game 3 against the Islanders, the Hurricanes will look to veteran goalie Curtis McElhinney. The 35-year-old netminder filled in for Mrazek, who exited in the second period of the Hurricanes' 2-1 win Sunday. He made 17 saves and helped Carolina secure a 2-0 series lead.
McElhinney will become the oldest goalie to make his first postseason start. He will be 37 days older than Les Binkley, who made his first playoff start with the Pittsburgh Penguins against the then-Oakland Seals on April 8, 1970.
"I think what it is, is a luxury that we have a guy that we have equal confidence in," Brind'Amour said. "Thankfully, we have that situation. ... We have a guy that we all trust who's been good all year. It's not like we're hoping he's going to be good."
Mrazek has started all nine postseason games for Carolina. McElhinney appeared in 33 regular-season games this season and posted a 20-11-2 record. He had a 2.58 goals-against average and .912 save percentage with two shutouts.
Game 3 is Wednesday night at PNC Arena.