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Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo, a little sore after collision with boards, not in lineup against Blackhawks

Brandon Carlo dived to try to break up Joe Veleno's breakaway Sunday at Detroit.Paul Sancya/Associated Press

CHICAGO — Brandon Carlo wasn’t at his worst immediately following his painful belly-slide collision with the boards Sunday in Detroit. But he’s been better.

“To be honest, [the impact] was more the upper right side of my body — because that’s what’s sore right now,” explained Carlo, rotating his right shoulder as he chatted with a reporter late Tuesday morning. “A little sore, but overall fine.”

In part, that explained the 6-foot-6-inch blueliner’s absence from the lineup Tuesday night when the Bruins took on the Blackhawks at the United Center.

Carlo has experienced at least five concussions, including one in October of this season, since turning pro. That history, he understands, would lead to questions about Sunday’s fender bender in which he careened head-and-shoulder-first into the base of the rear boards after an attempt to break up Red Wings forward Joe Veleno’s dash into the low slot.

“My head felt completely fine,” he said. “I’ve been in a concussion situation very often, so I know exactly how that would [feel], so no symptoms. And thankful for that, for sure.


Carlo skated with fellow extras Jakub Zboril (D) and Jakub Lauko (F) for an additional 20-25 minutes following the club’s traditional, day-of-game skate. Prior to boarding the bus for the return to the club’s downtown hotel, he noted he would not be in the lineup. Lauko wasn’t either. He was assigned to Providence.

“I used to do it a lot when I was younger, that sliding kind of play,” said Carlo, noting his attempt to disrupt Veleno’s breakaway, which came less than two minutes after the afternoon’s opening faceoff. “Overall, I don’t know, it’s just a play you make on instinct — doing everything I can to try to stop that. It happens so fast, you know, you just go for it.”


The fresh surface, yet to have any buildup from ice shavings, provided no drag on Carlo’s slide. He needed a few moments to get to his feet, and then, hunkered over, made his way to the Boston bench and down the runway at Little Caesars Arena. He was back on the bench, less than two minutes later, having waited out the pain in the hallway outside the dressing room.

“Just to catch my breath, I kind of felt like my ribs got compacted a little bit,” he explained. “My breath was a little lost. You know, that feeling when you can’t catch your breath and can’t really stand up, that was really it. Then the soreness on my right side … but feeling good now.”

Lindholm returns

Meanwhile, fellow blueliner Hampus Lindholm, out of the lineup Sunday after a blocked shot the day before left him with a swollen ankle, declared himself ready to rejoin a backline group that included Charlie McAvoy, Dmitry Orlov, Matt Grzelcyk, Derek Forbort, and Connor Clifton.

With Orlov’s recent move to the lone point man spot on the first power-play unit, Lindholm again joined McAvoy at the points on No. 2 PP unit.

Lindholm, seen here celebrating a second-period goal with his teammates, was back in the lineup Tuesday night.Matt Marton/Associated Press

“I’ve been in units with two [defensemen][ before,” said Lindholm, who leads the backline pack with eight goals. “I think both of us, growing up with it, are used to it in a way. He has a great shot, and he’s very poised with the puck, so I think it falls into his nature being over there. The change gives us more options, so I think it’s been good.”


Lindholm, McAvoy, and Orlov each have one power-play goal for the Bruins.

Lately, David Pastrnak lines with Orlov in back for faceoffs on PP1, behind a line of Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk. But Pastrnak roams all over, and likes to fire primarily from his sweet spot, dead center in the left wing faceoff circle.

McAvoy and Lindholm work as “hinges,” the job description as defined by coach Jim Montgomery, each of them looking for opportunities to shoot from spots closer to the net rather than from, say, typical point distance of 50 feet.

“End of the day, good power plays take what [the PK] gives you,’' Lindholm said. “I think we have some good options. Whatever they give us, we’ll use that weapon.”

The No. 2 PP unit started with a front line David Krejci centering Pavel Zacha and newcomer Tyler Bertuzzi.

No word on injured Hall

Montgomery offered little information about the status of injured winger Taylor Hall, who said last week he planned to get back on the ice on Monday.

“I don’t know, to be honest,” said Montgomery, asked if Hall was back on skates. “I haven’t checked in back home. But him and [Nick] Foligno, as far as what we know, they haven’t started their process yet as far as being close to being even an option for me. That’s what I concern myself with.”


Hall, on LTIR, is eligible to come off the injured list next week, possibly for Tuesday’s visit by the Senators to Causeway St. He sustained a lower-body injury Feb. 25 in Vancouver.

Back-to-backs coming up

Next up: visits to Winnipeg (Thursday night), St. Paul (Saturday matinee) and Buffalo (Sunday matinee). Wild then Sabres will be the Bruins’ 11th back-to-back set of the season. They went 15-3-2 in the first 10 matchups, with all three regulation losses suffered in the second game … During the morning workout, Zboril took a number of reps alongside Forbort on PK1. Forbort normally pairs with Carlo on that first penalty killing unit. Carlo’s absence for much of the workout was the first indication that he’d be drawing out for the night … Ullmark’s start here, where he hoped to add to his eight-game winning streak, left him lined up to go vs. the Wild. Not out of the question, however, that Montgomery would save him for the stop in Buffalo, where Ullmark spent some six years before signing as a UFA with the Bruins in July 2021 … Zboril and Veleno were junior teammates at QMJHL Saint John. boril went Round 1 to the Bruins in ‘15, and Veleno Round 1 (No. 30) to the Wings in ‘18 … The Bruins arrived with their special teams in a slump over the previous four games: power play (1 for 12, 8.3 percent) and PK (5 for 9, 55.6 percent). Over the weekend, in the back-to-backs vs. Detroit, the power play also yield a pair of shorthanded strikes.


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com.