Bolts rule Carle (undisclosed) out for Game 4

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Tampa Bay d-man Matt Carle will miss his first game of the postseason tonight when the Bolts host the Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena.

Carle, shook up following a collision with Derek Stepan during Game 3 — a hit that forced Carle from the game — was officially ruled out this morning by head coach Jon Cooper, who wouldn’t reveal what he’d do in terms of a lineup replacement.

From today’s media availability:

Q. So maybe get a guy like [Mark] Barberio in there?

COACH COOPER: Maybe. Our full 21 guys are playing, so you have to show up tonight to see which guy is out. But he’s one of the guys I told might be in.

Q. Either way, if you do go 7 [defensemen], you have a guy that hasn’t played for a while in the lineup. What kind of things go into that?

COACH COOPER: This is where you find out if guys are pros or not. It’s a game we all love to play, but it’s also in some respects, it’s your job. These guys are expected to, when your name is called, to come in and do the best you can and keep yourself in shape. Our guys and our staff have done a great job with players that haven’t been in the starting line-up, but potentially could come in. You look at everybody from, you know, if it is Barberio to [Jonathan] Drouin, [Vladislav] Namestnikov, [Jonathan] Marchessault, go down the list.

Carle, 30, was averaging 16:35 TOI per night prior to getting hurt, with two points and a minus-6 rating.

Twins joining Triplets? Watch out if Stamkos, Killorn keep heating up

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The Tampa Bay Lightning’s “Triplets” line has done something remarkable: knock Steven Stamkos off the marquee, at least for a little while.

The scary thing for the New York Rangers – and maybe the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks – is that the Lightning’s “other” big combo is really starting to generate points and havoc, as well. With Ryan Callahan still recovering from emergency surgery and Valtteri Filppula a little less noticeable on the line, the duo of Stamkos and Alex Killorn is being dubbed “The Twins” by the Ottawa Sun.

There’s no word on how Henrik and Daniel Sedin feel about such a nickname, as Stamkos stands out is pretty easy to distinguish from just about any other player, really:

New Yoprk Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three
Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

Granted, Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson don’t look alike, either. Instead, they blend together by being so dominant and cohesive, and the startling thing about the last game-and-change is that Killorn has been as impressive as Stamkos.

Jon Cooper singled Killorn and Palat out in Game 3, in particular:

Of course, it’s scarier for opponents to see Stamkos on his game, and he definitely asserted himself on Wednesday. His all-out-effort on his 2-1 goal really made a statement:

In the past two games, Stamkos has two goals and two assists. Killorn has been even more productive with three goals and two helpers, and it’s more than that, as his overwhelming Game 3 effort included nine shots on goal.

If this keeps up, opponents face the unsettling “pick your poison” proposition: do you focus on “The Triplets,” Killorn – Stamkos or risk spreading yourself thin? Call each line what you want, but on their best days, they amount to a matchup nightmare.

PHT Morning Skate: Charitable beards and young Mike Babcock

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Even if you’re one of those cold souls who think that playoff beards are played out – really? – this story should warm your heart a bit: the Washington Capitals’ (copyrighted!) Beard-a-Thon raised more than $30K for the American Special Hockey Association. (Capitals)

Want to get your mind blown a little bit? Check out these photos of young and very young Mike Babcock. (BarDown)

Former WWE star CM Punk’s passion for the Chicago Blackhawks is no secret, but you can find out more about his fandom here. (The Hockey News)

Alex Killorn believes that his mom is more impressed with his degree than his NHL career. Well, it is from Harvard. (Tampa Bay Times)

More on Joel Quenneville’s decision to go with “fresh legs.” (CSNChicago.com)

The “ripple effect” of Babcock’s contract. (Sportsnet)

Clearing the defensive zone might not be so clearly beneficial. (Jen LC)

Bolts say no update on Carle (undisclosed) after Stepan collision

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To nobody’s surprise, the Lightning weren’t offering much in the way of a status report for defenseman Matt Carle, who was knocked out of Wednesday’s OT win over the Rangers following a collision with Derek Stepan.

“No update,” head coach Jon Cooper said on Thursday. “What’s the line? Day to day, but then again, aren’t we all?”

Here’s a replay of the injury:

Carle, 30, had appeared in all 16 of Tampa Bay’s playoff games prior to getting hurt, and was averaging 16:35 TOI per night. The Bolts are relatively well equipped to deal with his loss, should Carle be out any length of time; Cooper dressed seven d-men on Wednesday — as he has on numerous occasions this postseason — and has Mark Barberio waiting in reserve if need be.

Flyers won’t trade Del Zotto, but ‘something will have to give’ on crowded blue line

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After adding Yevgeni Medvedev to the mix yesterday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall knows he’s going to have to do “something” about all the defensemen he’s got.

As in, he knows he can’t keep all of them. Especially not with a bunch of talented young blue-liners waiting in the wings.

Here’s how the situation looks, courtesy generalfanager:

source:

Hextall said yesterday that he plans to re-sign and keep Michael Del Zotto, so we can take the 24-year-old off the trade list.

Meanwhile, Andrew MacDonald may not have a market whatsoever, given he’s signed through 2020 and hasn’t exactly shone since joining the Flyers.

Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann are pending UFAs, so their trade value is automatically limited. Perhaps there’s still a GM out there who believes Schenn, 25, has good potential. Then again, maybe not.

Nick Schultz has a reasonable contract and would have some trade value. But do the Flyers have anyone to step in and reliably do all the dirty work that he does? Remember that they don’t have Braydon Coburn anymore.

Mark Streit may be their most valuable trade chip. He’s 37, so it’s not like he’s going to be part of the long-term future in Philly. And he can still produce offensively, as evidenced by the 52 points he put up this season, the third most on the team.

The problem with trading Streit is that there are still expectations for the current roster, as Ed Snider made perfectly clear. And with all those talented, young defenseman in the system, might Streit provide a good role model?

“We’re going to have to do something,” Hextall said, per the Daily News. “Yevgeni we thought was a real good, solid upgrade on defense and was someone we couldn’t let go by. But yeah, something will have to give here.”