Boston Bruins

Feb 19, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) during the third period of the game against the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center in San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

The post-bye Bruins will have to remain perfect without the services of defenseman Brandon Carlo on Saturday, as the 23-year-old missed practice and has returned home to attend to a personal matter.

“Personal day, family matter,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said when asked about Carlo’s absence from Friday’s practice. “So he went home. He will not play tomorrow. We expect him back for Sunday. That’s the plan.”

The Colorado-born Carlo has skated in all 55 games to date this season, and has been a rock for the Boston blue line, with a career-high 17 points to date, along with a plus-17 rating (fourth-best on the Bruins). Carlo has also been a force in the team’s penalty kill, with a team-leading 3:05 of shorthanded time on ice per night for a B’s penalty kill ranked fourth in the NHL.

With Carlo out, John Moore is expected to rejoin the B’s lineup and skate next to Torey Krug on Boston’s second pairing.

“We’re gonna start that way,” Cassidy confirmed. “It’s the easiest switch.”

For Cassidy and the B’s, that ‘easiest switch’ comes with Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy making up Boston’s highly-effective top duo, while Matt Grzelcyk and Jeremy Lauzon have started to build chemistry as the Black and Gold’s third pairing. In-game switcheroos and tinkering has seen Krug and Moore played together for a quick minute this season, with the duo being on the ice for one goal in each net in their brief sampling together.

“If it’s not working out, we’ll have to kind of make some adjustments on the fly,” said Cassidy.

In other lineup news, defenseman Connor Clifton was also on the ice, but in a red non-contact sweater. Clifton has not played since Dec. 29 due to an upper-body injury.

The Bruins enter Saturday with wins in five straight (they’re outscoring opponents 14-3 since coming out of the bye), and have won their last 15 head-to-heads with the Coyotes dating back to Oct. 2010. Not a bad little streak.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.