BOSTON – An already rough night for rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo went from bad to worse when he hobbled and struggled off the ice in the third period with a lower body injury.
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It looked like a pretty harmless play where his right leg got caught underneath him, but then he went down to the ice in a heap before quickly getting up and gliding off on one skate before retreating back to the B’s dressing room in the 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden.
Carlo finished with an assist and a plus-1 rating in 12:25 of ice time, but also had a puck go off his stick for a Penguins goal in the first period before an unnecessary cross-checking penalty led to a Pittsburgh PP score as well. But the rookie D-man had rebounded nicely before suffering the lower body injury that didn’t look all that good when it happened. Claude Julien didn’t have much of an update following the game on Carlo’s condition, and said he didn’t see what befell his young player.
“I really don’t know. For some reason I didn’t even see what happened to him and first thing I found out from our trainers that he wasn’t coming back,” said Julien, who was then asked about the two negative Carlo plays that led to Penguins goals in the first period. “This is where, again we need to be patient with some young players. The mistake he made, it goes off his stick and it spins in the net. [It was] probably not a good penalty to take, but what I like about Brandon Carlo is that he comes out in the second period, we get in a bit of a scramble there at the beginning and he blocks a big shot that probably saves a goal.
“He redeems himself. He works hard to redeem himself. So as much as we’ve got to live sometimes with some young mistakes, we like the fact that he doesn’t hang his head and he comes back and plays hard and really tries to redeem himself. He does that most of the time.”
The good news for Carlo and the Bruins is that he’s got the All-Star break this weekend to heal for three days before the B’s schedule resumes next week, but it wouldn’t surprise at all if the D-man needs more than a few days to recover.