The Boston Bruins placed defensemen Connor Clifton, Derek Forbort, and a team staff member into the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol within an hour of puck drop of their game against the Washington Capitals tonight, per a team tweet.
In their absences, it’s likely that Urho Vaakanainen and John Moore will make up the bottom pair for tonight’s game. Warmups have already begun and the Bruins have no other defensemen on the active roster to fill in.
Forbort, who’s in his first season as a Bruin, has seven points through 31 games this year and has bounced around the team’s defensive pairings. He offers little offensively, but he’s had really good defensive impacts since joining Boston. His ability and versatility will certainly be missed while he’s in protocol.
Clifton has played in just 22 games, scoring two points, but he’s also been rather reliable defensively when in the lineup. Vaakanainen and Moore will need to play a responsible game in his and Forbort’s absences.
If all goes well, Clifton and Forbort could return January 18th against Carolina, the team’s first game after the conclusion of what could be five-day quarantines for them.