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Lightning defenseman Carle leaves Game 3 with injury

by Dan Rosen / NHL.com

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matthew Carle left Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at 9:55 of the first period following a collision in the neutral zone with New York Rangers center Derek Stepan.

Carle did not return to the game because of an undisclosed injury.

It appeared Carle was trying to go to the bench for a line change as Stepan was curling back to go into the New York zone when they collided.

Rangers forward Jesper Fast wound up scoring to put New York ahead 2-0 on a breakaway in large part because Carle could not get up to defend him as he was moving into the Tampa Bay end to receive a pass from Chris Kreider.

It didn't help the Lightning either that Nikita Nesterov was late coming on the ice to change for Anton Stralman. Nesterov jumped on at the last second but trailed Fast as he went in for his breakaway goal.

Carle played three shifts totaling 1:36 in the first period. He entered the game averaging 17:34 of ice time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Lightning were not short on the blue line after Carle's injury because they dressed seven defensemen and 11 forwards.

The Lightning won the game 6-5 in overtime to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 4 is Friday in Tampa (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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