Williams, Vatanen unfit to play for Hurricanes, miss Game 1 vs. Bruins

Williams, Vatanen unfit to play for Hurricanes, miss Game 1 vs. Bruins

Justin Williams and Sami Vatanen are game-time decisions for the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The forward and defenseman were ruled unfit to play Game 1, a 4-3 double-overtime Bruins win in Toronto, the Eastern hub city.

“I hope so,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said after the game Wednesday. “That’s all I can say on that. They’re definitely a possibility.

“They were game-time decisions. Like I said, hopefully they’ll be able to go tomorrow.”

As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.

Williams is a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Hurricanes (2006) and Los Angeles Kings (2012, 2014). He’s scored 101 points (40 goals, 61 assists) in 158 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Vatanen had three assists for the Hurricanes in a three-game sweep of the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers after not playing a regular-season game with them because of a lower-body injury sustained blocking a shot while playing for the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 1. He was traded to Carolina on Feb. 24.

Forward Ryan Dzingel and defenseman Jake Gardiner replaced Williams and Vatanen. Each were held without a point.

Dougie Hamilton was minus-2 and played 26:48 in his first game since Jan. 16. He had surgery the next day to repair a fractured left fibula. Hamilton led Hurricanes defensemen with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 47 games while averaging 23:17 of ice time, an NHL career high.

The Hurricanes are the No. 5 seed in the East. The Bruins are the No. 4 seed.

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