Brandon Carlo ‘feeling better’ but still out with upper-body injury for Bruins

Matt Kalman
March 07, 2020 - 12:30 pm

The Bruins will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night without defenseman Brandon Carlo, and there’s no telling how much more time he might miss after he was elbowed in the head by Florida’s Evgenii Dadonov on Thursday.

“Didn’t skate [today>, so until he’s skating I guess we’ll have a better idea. But certainly feeling better,” coach Bruce Cassidy said on Saturday morning about Carlo’s upper-body injury.

In Carlo’s place the Bruins will first turn to John Moore to skate with Torey Krug after Moore sat out the past 10 games. If Carlo misses more time, Cassidy’s confident the Bruins have enough options to make up for the blueliner’s loss.

“Well we’ve got lots of good players we can plug in there,” Cassidy said. “We’d rather have Brandon healthy and ready to go. I think he’s one of the most underrated defenseman in the NHL when it comes to defending, penalty kill, shutdown type of role. Growing his offensive game, so we’ll miss him.

“But Johnny Moore goes in tonight. Plays his off side, which will be a challenge for him. And then there’s Cliffy [Connor Clifton> that we can get back in there as well, who is a right shot. But Johnny’s played more recently so that’s the route we’re going to go tonight, and then if it lingers we’ve got to look at the next option, which would be Cliffy. Then I’d be speculating down the road, obviously Providence, they’ve been playing well … so obviously they’re getting some good play down there. Right now I think we have good depth in that area.”

As for the elbow, which was ruled a major penalty until it was reduced to a minor, Cassidy still gave Dadonov the benefit of the doubt two days after the incident.

“I don’t know if there was intent," Cassidy said. "Because I do know that when you’re in tight areas you’re trying to make a play, I know he felt him on his back, so he probably wanted to protect himself too. So to what degree … I don’t think in that instance a guy purposely tried to elbow him in the head. I just don’t, I could be wrong.”

Other lineup tweaks

Anders Bjork did not earn his spot back during his quiet performance against the Panthers, so he’ll be a healthy scratch against the Lightning, along with Karson Kuhlman and Anton Blidh. Par Lindholm returns to the lineup to center Joakim Nordstrom and Chris Wagner. Sean Kuraly will move up to Charlie Coyle’s left side with Jake DeBrusk moving to the right. … Tuukka Rask gets the start against the Lightning after beating them 2-1 on the road Tuesday.

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