Brind'Amour: Niederreiter 'very, very doubtful' to play in Round 2

Gregg Forwerck / National Hockey League / Getty

It appears the Carolina Hurricanes will have to play their entire series against the Tampa Bay Lightning without Nino Niederreiter.

Following Tampa Bay's 2-1 win over Carolina in Game 1 on Sunday, Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour said the forward is "very, very doubtful" to suit up during the best-of-seven matchup, according to the team's senior editor, Michael Smith.

Niederreiter was a late scratch for Sunday's game due to an upper-body injury. He played all six of Carolina's first-round contests against the Nashville Predators, scoring the game-winner in the opener.

The 28-year-old left Saturday's practice early and didn't return. Brind'Amour labeled him questionable for Game 1 after Sunday's morning skate before ruling him out just prior to puck drop.

Niederreiter ranked second on the team with 20 goals over 56 games during the regular season. His 0.36 goals per game were a career high over a full campaign, and he also collected 14 assists.

The Swiss winger has spent two-plus seasons with the Hurricanes, who acquired him from the Minnesota Wild in a trade for forward Victor Rask in January 2019.

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Brind'Amour: Niederreiter 'very, very doubtful' to play in Round 2
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