NHL Rumors: Carolina Hurricanes Dealt Brutal News as Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin

The Carolina Hurricanes get set to take on the Boston Bruins in their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series and unfortunately for the 'Canes they will be doing so shorthanded. The lower-body injury to starting netminder Frederik Andersen is too much to handle at this point and the veteran netminder will be unable to play in Game 1.

While up front the two teams are awfully similar, Andersen was the one piece Carolina had an advantage as he stood on his head throughout this season in Vezina award type fashion. Andersen has been sidelined for a couple of weeks now with an undisclosed lower-body injury and many felt like he was going to be able to power through for the beginning of the playoffs, but that's not the case at all.

Expect to see the Hurricanes turn to Antti Raanta for Game 1 with rookie Pyotr Kochetkov waiting in the wings for some game action. The two have down an admirable job filling in for the Danish goaltender as losing your starting tender two weeks from the beginning of the postseason is such a tough pill to swallow in Carolina.

The 32-year-old Andersen is essentially day-to-day and will be monitored as the series goes along. He was one of the best goalies in the league this season in his first in Carolina after spending the beginning of his career with the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs. In 52 games with the Hurricanes, Andersen recorded a .922 save percentage, and a 2.17 goals against average. Andersen and Raanta were awarded the William M. Jennings trophy as the goaltender(s) to give up the fewest goals against this season.

Now the real season begins and Raanta is the man in Carolina's crease. Let's see if he can hold his own while Andersen continues to recover. I'm thinking Boston in seven here, but let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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