The Bruins were far from 100 percent over the tail end of their second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series against the Islanders.
In addition to a banged-up Tuukka Rask, Boston was dealing with a pair of critical injuries on the back end. Both Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller were out of the lineup for the final three-plus tilts of the best-of-seven set. Miller didn’t take the ice at all in the series after sustaining an injury in Round 1, while Carlo was forced to exit Game 3 against New York when he took a heavy, high hit along the boards.
“They’re valuable pieces of our defense, obviously. That’s no secret,” Bergeron told reporters. “Great players that play a heavy game and play lots of minutes. That being said, I think the guys that came in did a great job and stepped up. We obviously believed in everyone that came in that lineup to do the job. But yeah, every time you’re missing some key players it hurts you a little bit. That being said, we were very confident in the guys that came in.”
Bruce Cassidy after Game 6 confirmed Carlo would not have been available to play Friday had Boston forced a Game 7. The Bruins head coach was more optimistic about Miller’s chances to draw back into the lineup, but he ultimately did not want to speculate.