The Bruins will be without a significant piece of their defense on Saturday night, as Brandon Carlo will miss Game 4 at Nassau Coliseum with an undisclosed injury following a hit from the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck.
Ruling Carlo out of action comes two nights after Bruce Cassidy had a seemingly (and surprisingly) positive update on the 6-foot-5 defender following Thursday’s victory, and after he considered Carlo a game-time decision when speaking with the media on Friday. But the decision comes with Carlo yet to step back on the ice since absorbing that hit from Clutterbuck.
“He was on the bike today, so he’s feeling better,” Cassidy said. “So obviously, we’ll list him as day-to-day until he gets on the ice. Obviously, he’s not going to be able to play or be in the lineup. So when that happens, as usual, that’s a step closer. So we’ll see how he does. But out tonight. We’ll see if he gets on the ice [Sunday].”
With Carlo out, the Bruins will move Jeremy Lauzon to the right side of Boston’s second pairing opposite Mike Reilly, while Jarred Tinordi will jump into action on Boston’s third pairing with Connor Clifton.
While the Tinordi-Clifton pairing certainly has some familiarity and was iced together as Boston’s third pairing in Boston’s Game 5 closeout victory over the Capitals in the first round, it is worth noting that Lauzon and Reilly have yet to play together.
But the Bruins aren’t sweating that too, too much, as it appears that tonight’s contest will come with the Bruins tinkering with their defensive pairings throughout this one based on the situation, zone, and score.
“At the end of the day, I’m sure you’ll see Reilly with different players,” Cassidy said. “There’s no rule that says you have to play pairs every shift. You can mix guys in as the game unfolds, dictates. You’re probably going to see a lot of different partners together tonight. I expect all six to be at their best tonight. Whatever helps us win is how we’ll approach it.”
The Bruins enter tonight’s game with a 2-1 series lead, and 3-1 record on the road this postseason.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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.