Brandon Carlo has been back a mere two games since missing a month with an oblique injury, but if you ask his Boston Bruins teammates, he’s already found his game.
Carlo played the second-most shifts of all the Boston blue liners during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the New York Rangers. Carlo, while playing 25:15 time on ice, scored an insurance goal during the third period, which was his first since Feb. 1 against the Washington Capitals.
“It’s great. He’s a big part of our back end,” Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said of Carlo during a postgame video conference. “Last two games, it’s looked pretty seamless for him, for his return.
“As I said, he’s got that playoff experience over the last few years and we’re just happy to have him,” Bergeron added. “It’s great for him to get his legs underneath him, but he’s still got a few games to get ready for Game 1 of the playoffs. But he looks great, he looks ready.”
Fellow defenseman Charlie McAvoy also is happy to have Carlo back.
“Yeah, (Carlo) is a huge part of our back end,” McAvoy said on a postgame video conference. “He’s so good defensively and to see him the last two games get shots on net, be a part of it, keep pucks alive, make plays in the O-zone, it’s awesome to see his confidence where it’s at.
“He’s a tremendous player and he means a lot to this group so to have him back and see him playing well, being a big part of it, is awesome,” McAvoy continued.
McAvoy played alongside Jeremy Lauzon while Matt Grzelcyk paired with Carlo on the second-line pairing. Mike Reilly and Kevan Miller came together on the third line, with Bruce Cassidy hoping those will be the top-six blue liners come postseason.
Carlo spoke with the media after making his return Tuesday and said he hopes to play every night, as there is no load management needed entering the postseason.
The Bruins, who have just three games remaining, will play the Rangers on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.