Brandon Carlo is out with an unspecified injury for the Boston Bruins against the New York Islanders in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Second Round on Saturday (7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series following a 2-1 overtime win in Game 3 on Thursday. They finished the game with five defensemen after Carlo was injured on a hit by Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck 6:06 into the third period.
“Obviously you feel bad. We don’t want to see anybody hurt,” Clutterbuck said. “I’m not going out there trying to hurt people. That’s not the goal. The goal is to be effective and try and create turnovers, and so when that happens, obviously it’s unfortunate. It gives you a bad feeling in your stomach, definitely. I don’t like to see that at all, so I hope he’s OK. I try and take pride in the fact that I go out there and play the game clean and try and finish my checks the right way. He just kind of caught the glass in a weird spot, so hopefully he’s alright. But those things happen.”
Carlo, who is day to day, has no points in eight games in the playoffs and is second on Boston averaging 22:30 in ice time after averaging 18:43 and scoring four points (three goals, one assist) in 27 regular-season games.
Jarred Tinordi will replace Carlo in the Bruins lineup. Tinordi played in Game 5 of the first round against the Washington Capitals and has played 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Montreal Canadiens (five in 2012-13), Nashville Predators (four in 2019-20) and Bruins. He had one assist in 21 games for the Bruins and Predators this season.
Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller also is out with an unspecified injury. He hasn’t played since being injured on a hit by Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov in Game 4 of the first round. Miller has been skating but is not with Boston on the road and will remain out at least until Game 5 on Monday.
With Carlo and Miller out, the Bruins have two right-handed defensemen in the lineup Saturday — Charlie McAvoy and Connor Clifton. Left-handed shooting Jeremy Lauzon will shift to the right side.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy discussed that option Friday.
“Or we may have to be creative in-game with playing four left sticks and two righties and giving the righties a lot of ice time,” Cassidy said. “I’m not saying they’d play half the game, but a little more than usual and try to minimize a guy going to his off side.”
McAvoy played a game-high 29:11 Thursday, including 10:52 in the third period and 2:14 of the 3:36 in overtime, and leads the Bruins averaging 27:06 in ice time in the playoffs. Clifton has averaged 18:16 in ice time in seven games, mostly on Boston’s third pair, since beginning the playoffs as a healthy scratch.
Clifton played 16:10 Thursday, including 6:09 in the third period and 1:22 in overtime.
“In Charlie’s case, he’s directly impacted because it’s going to mean more minutes for him and probably Clifton in that regard as well,” Cassidy said. “And then for the forwards to make sure you’re supporting the D more and not putting them in spots where they have to extend shifts. I thought we did a good job with that last night, picking the D up because we were a little bit limited, Charlie specifically.”
The extra minutes didn’t prevent McAvoy from carrying the puck up ice through the neutral zone before passing to forward Brad Marchand, who scored the overtime winner from outside the left circle. McAvoy is third in scoring among defensemen in the playoffs with eight points (one goal, seven assists), one behind Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche (nine points; two goals, seven assists) and two behind Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who has 10 points (10 assists).
“He’s going to play and try to drive the game no matter what,” Cassidy said. “Whether a guy is hurt or not, how many minutes he plays, that’s just who he is, and he impacted the game in many ways last night.”