SUNRISE, FL – Things have been going pretty swimmingly for the Bruins, but they might have hit a bump in the road during Thursday night’s overtime win over the Florida Panthers.
Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo was knocked out of Boston’s 2-1 overtime win against Florida at the BB&T Center after catching an elbow to his face while going into the corner with Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov to retrieve a puck.
Carlo was done for the night at that point after 10:24 of ice time and was bloodied and dazed from the sheer force of the blow to his head. Dadonov was whistled for a five-minute elbowing major right after the play, but a video review from the referees reduced the call to a mere two-minute minor for elbowing.
The Bruins made the Panthers pay with a power play goal that tied the game in the eventual OT win, but the loss of the 6-foot-5 Carlo would be a major one in the middle of his best NHL season to date. There wasn’t much of an update afterward, but the obvious fear is that Carlo has suffered his second concussion over a four-year span with the Black and Gold.
“[We’ll have] a better idea in the morning if it's something more serious, like a concussion, but right now we just don't know,” said Bruce Cassidy, who was mystified as to why the call was changed given that it caused an injury to Carlo.
"I don't know if intent necessarily matters. It's an elbow to the head. I thought it was a major [penalty]."
If Carlo is out for any length of time with a concussion, the Bruins do have fellow young D-man Connor Clifton ready to jump back into action after sitting for a length of time once he was healthy enough to play in games again.
But the Bruins will definitely miss the presence of shutdown defenseman Carlo, who has played a tough, rugged 20:38 of ice time per game, served as Boston’s most heavily-used penalty killer and has improved his puck-moving while posting four goals and 19 points in 66 games this season for Boston.