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2019 Eastern Conference Finals: Game 1 Open Thread

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NHL: Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

And then there were four...

With the NHL’s conference finalists now set, and the divisional playoff brackets a thing of the past, the Eastern Conference Finals begin tonight in the City of Champions.

Defending home ice will be the Atlantic Division’s 2nd seed, the Boston Bruins. After surviving a Game 7 against Toronto and defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games, the Bruins are making their first Conference Finals appearance since 2013. They’ll be without stalwart defenseman Charlie McAvoy for tonight’s game, as he’ll be serving a one game suspension due to checking Blue Jackets’ forward Josh Anderson in the head during Game 6. Former Rangers’ bookmark Steven Kampfer will draw into the lineup.

The Bruins will be visited by the top Wild Card, and the Metropolitan’s 4th place team, the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina knocked off the defending champion Washington Capitals in the first round after seven grueling games, before surging past the Islanders in a four game sweep to qualify for their first Eastern Conference Final since 2009.

Puck drop is scheduled for slightly after 8:00 PM EDT on NBCSN. Enjoy the game.