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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Senators

With Ritchie sidelined by infection, Cehlarik slides in as Boston aims for fifth straight win

by Eric Russo @erusso22 / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - As the Bruins aim for their fifth straight victory on Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators, they will be without the services of winger Brett Ritchie, who is dealing with an infection that will sideline him for at least the next couple of days.

According to Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, Ritchie has a "very rare…similar issue" to fellow winger Joakim Nordstrom, who has missed four of the past five games, including the last two with an infection in his elbow. Boston's bench boss added that Ritchie's situation may be less serious than Nordstrom's and he has not ruled him out beyond Saturday.

"We're keeping an eye on it. He might not be out as long, but another cut that didn't heal properly," said Cassidy. "He won't play tonight. Not ruling him out for Monday…Ritchie is not necessarily the same as Nordy, but we're seeing some similarities, so the medical team is gonna have to look at him and see if they caught it quick enough and he can get back at it or not."

Nordstrom, meanwhile, has been ruled out through at least Tuesday's visit to Montreal, meaning he will miss the next three games.

"We're looking down the road for him," said Cassidy. "I think there's an issue when you have what he has [because] you can't sweat for X-amount of time, you're very inactive. That sets you back right there…maybe Friday's an option, I don't know."

Video: Cassidy previews Bruins tilt with Ottawa Senators

With Ritchie out of the lineup, Peter Cehlarik was recalled from Providence on an emergency basis for the second time in three games. The 24-year-old will slide into Ritchie's spot as the third-line right wing, alongside Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork.

"It's important for me to recognize who I'm playing with, what's my role," said Cehlarik, who has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in seven games for Providence this season. "We haven't talked yet today, but we will for sure. I know Coyle, we played together a couple times last year and I know Bjorkie from Providence, so I know what kind of game I can expect. Hopefully we can create some offense as well."

Cehlarik was a minus-2 in 12:05 of ice time in his lone game this season last Sunday in New York, though Cassidy acknowledged that the Slovakia native was not put in the best position to succeed given that he had to travel the day of the game and was placed in more of an energy role with Sean Kuraly and David Backes.

Cassidy hopes that this time around Cehlarik will be able to better take advantage of his opportunity with the big club.

"I thought he had a tough time getting his legs under him," Cassidy said of the Rangers game. "I've seen him better. I don't want to judge him on that game. He's played really well in Providence. He's come up here and had really good shifts for us and other time where he wasn't as consistent as he'd like.

"The reason we brought him back is he went down there and played well again and I don't know that we put him in the best position to succeed the other night…he's probably a better fit with a Coyle and a Bjork, where it's a little more offensive-minded role."

Video: Cehlarik talks with media about recall from P-Bruins

Kampfer Slides In

Steven Kampfer will also suit up for his second game of the season as Connor Clifton sits as a healthy scratch. The veteran blue liner played a tad over 12 minutes against the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 14 in his only other contest of the year.

"That's just a coach's decision that keeps Steve [involved] - similar to what we did earlier," said Cassidy. "Cliffy, I think, has played better since he's been back in, more consistent, but we want to keep Steve sharp."

Kampfer, who played just 35 games last season and another three in the playoffs, is used to being out for long stretches and has been trying to remain prepared by keeping up physically and mentally during practices and off-ice training.

"It's part of being a pro," he said. "Sometimes you go through through stretches where you don't play. It's just making sure that in practice you're getting your reps and making sure that you're practicing hard. When you get the opportunity, you have fun with it and try to make the most of it."

Video: Kampfer talks staying fresh, returning to the lineup

Opposing View

The Bruins and Senators are meeting for the first time this season. Ottawa, under the direction of first-year coach D.J. Smith, enters the game at 3-7-1 with 7 points, placing them in the basement of the Eastern Conference. The Sens have not played since Sunday when they defeated the San Jose Sharks, 5-2.

"I expect they'll skate and they'll play hard, that's what they've done since the start of the year," said Cassidy. "They'll be a little bit more assertive than we've seen in the past. It's on us. We've had three days off as well between games…hopefully it carries over for us."

Forward Connor Brown leads the Senators in scoring with 10 points (goal, nine assists) in 11 games, while Anthony Duclair and Vladislav Namestnikov pace Ottawa in the goal department with four apiece.

Craig Anderson (2-4-0, 2.80 GAA, .909 save %) will start in goal for Ottawa.

Video: Bruins aim for fifth straight win with Sens in town

Saturday's Projected Lineup

FORWARDS

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Danton Heinen

Anders Bjork - Charlie Coyle - Peter Cehlarik

Chris Wagner - Sean Kuraly - David Backes

DEFENSEMEN

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Steven Kampfer

GOALIES

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratches: Connor Clifton (coach's decision), Par Lindholm (upper body), Joakim Nordstrom (infection), Brett Ritchie (infection)

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