Boston Bruins star defenseman Charlie McAvoy clears COVID-19 protocols and plays in Game 5

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Boston Bruins star defenseman Charlie McAvoy cleared COVID-19 protocols and played in the 5-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night in Game 5.

After the morning skate, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters that McAvoy and fellow defenseman Hampus Lindholm (upper-body injury) would miss Tuesday's game. Cassidy said there was no timeline for McAvoy's return but that he was already "feeling better."

Sources told ESPN's Emily Kaplan, however, that McAvoy arrived later in the day via private jet arranged by Bruins ownership, and that he walked into PNC Arena wearing an N95 mask in time for warm-ups.

He finished with three blocks and two shots in 25:14 time on the ice, but also picked up a minor penalty in the loss, which dropped his team into a 2-3 hole and 0-3 away from Boston this series. The Bruins allowed at least one goal in each period, and gave up 38 shots to Carolina.

"Not enough up and down the lineup," Cassidy said. "We've got to get some guys going. And that's on me to find a way to get them going. But it's also that time of year when that inner drive has to come through. And that's what we're looking at."

McAvoy was a late scratch for the Game 4 win Sunday in Boston, and Lindholm hasn't played since being leveled on a jarring shoulder-to-chest hit from Carolina's Andrei Svechnikov in the team's Game 2 loss. Cassidy said Lindholm did not travel to North Carolina for Game 5.

McAvoy and Lindholm worked together as Boston's top defensive pairing in Game 1 before Cassidy juggled the lineup for Game 2, moving Matt Grzelcyk up to play alongside McAvoy and putting Lindholm alongside Brandon Carlo. On Tuesday, he played with Mike Reilly.

McAvoy, 24, is a former first-round pick who posted 10 goals and 56 points this season for the Bruins. He has two assists this series and was averaging 25:15 minutes before his return. McAvoy has been in the playoffs every year of his NHL career.