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Pesce likely to miss rest of 1st round with injury

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Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce is expected to miss the rest of Carolina's first-round clash against the New York Islanders, head coach Rod Brind'Amour confirmed Wednesday, per the Raleigh News & Observer's Chip Alexander.

The blue-liner's status moving forward should Carolina advance to the second round is currently unknown, but he could be out of action for at least a few weeks with a noncontact, lower-body injury, a source told Alexander and Luke DeCock.

The Hurricanes hold a 2-0 series lead, with Game 3 scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Pesce exited during the second period of the Hurricanes' 5-3 comeback victory in Game 2. He appeared to be in some discomfort after a seemingly routine play in Carolina's zone and ended up being ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

Brind'Amour told reporters after the game that Pesce's injury wasn't "looking good."

Pesce has pitched in with one assist and a team-leading three blocks in these playoffs so far.

The 29-year-old logged three goals and 13 points in 70 outings during the regular season while averaging just over 20 minutes of ice time per contest.

Pesce once again spent the bulk of his time on a pairing with Brady Skjei this season. The Hurricanes dictated 58.3% of the shot attempts and 53.2% of the expected goals with the duo on the ice at five-on-five, though they got outscored 40-37, per Natural Stat Trick.

Tony DeAngelo was paired with Skjei during Wednesday's skate.

The Hurricanes selected Pesce in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He can become an unrestricted free agent this summer after playing out the final season of a six-year deal with a cap hit of $4.025 million.

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