Coach Rod Brind'Amour did not disclose his starter in the lead-up to Tuesday night's game. McElhinney led the team onto the ice for pregame warmups and was listed as the starter.
Boston scored 10 goals on Petr Mrazek while winning the first two games. Mrazek started the first nine postseason games for Carolina but left Game 2 of the second-round series against the New York Islanders with a lower-body injury.
The 35-year-old McElhinney closed out that victory, and then started the final two games of the Hurricanes' sweep of the Islanders.
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