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Pastrnak Set to Return; Miller a Game-Time Decision

Bruins hoping for boost with Chara out of the lineup

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

OTTAWA - The Bruins will not have Zdeno Chara for their matchup with the Ottawa Senators Thursday night, but there was some good injury news coming out of the team's dressing room ahead of the divisional matchup.

Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed that David Pastrnak would be back in the lineup after missing the last three games with an undisclosed injury.

The last time Pastrnak missed time - he was suspended for two games in late October - the 20-year-old returned to score in four consecutive contests.

"If he could do that again, it would be great," Julien said following the team's optional morning skate. "I think he's a young player…it doesn't take him too long to find his stride. He's a kid that enjoys the game and gets excited about playing, so I don't think I have too many worries about David competing tonight. He'll be ready to go."

Video: Pastrnak to return for Thanksgiving game in Ottawa

Pastrnak, the team's leading goal scorer with 10, said he is feeling 100 percent.

"For me it's about going out there and having a good game," said Pastrnak. "I'm happy to be back… I missed three games, so I'm full of energy."

Julien also gave an update on Kevan Miller, saying the defenseman is a game-time decision. Miller has not played this season because of a hand injury.

If he does play, Miller said he would be keeping things simple.

"Just looking forward to getting back into the game," said Miller. "I want to keep my feet moving and just get into the game early."

Kelly: "Fortunate to Have Lived in Boston"

Chris Kelly played six seasons in Boston. He was a part of the 2011 Stanley Cup championship team and played in another Cup Final in 2013.

For those reasons, among many others, the city will always hold a special place in his heart.

"I still find myself extremely fortunate to have lived in Boston," said Kelly, who signed with Ottawa over the summer for his second stint with the Senators.

"It's such a fantastic city. To have lived in the city and experience that for the years I did was something I feel very blessed to have experienced."

Kelly admitted it would be a bit strange to play against his former team. But he likened the experience to when he played the Senators for the first time after being traded to Boston in March 2011.

"It's always special when you play a former team," said Kelly. "I still remember playing the Sens when I got traded to Boston for the first time. That was a special kind of weird thing. It's always neat and exciting and difficult to play former teams.

"I think the one thing you kind of just try to focus on is playing your game and approach it the way you would approach any other game. Go compete and play hard and do your job and not try to do too much.

"That's kind of the way I approached it before and the way I'll approach it tonight."

Video: Kelly set for first game against the Bruins

Divisional Showdown

Tonight's game is an important divisional matchup for the Bruins, who sit just one point behind the Senators for the third spot in the Atlantic Division.

"I would expect them to be as committed to winning this game as we are," said Julien. "It's a divisional game, there's one point separating us. Right now, it's important for both teams to win this hockey game. Should be an exciting one."

Taking the Option

This morning's pregame skate was an optional one for the Bruins, with 14 players taking the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Forwards: Austin Czarnik, Jimmy Hayes, Sean Kuraly, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Dominic Moore, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller.

Defensemen: Brandon Carlo, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow.

Goalie: Zane McIntyre.

Kuraly Assigned

The Bruins announced Thursday afternoon that Kuraly has been assigned to Providence. Kuraly, in his first professional season, made his NHL debut on Nov. 4 and played five games with the Bruins.

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