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Ryan Spooner scratched by Bruins for Game 5 vs. Senators

Forward Sean Kuraly will return to lineup for Boston

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / Staff Writer

OTTAWA -- The Boston Bruins will scratch center Ryan Spooner and dress forward Sean Kuraly in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports, NESN).

Spooner is not 100 percent, coach Bruce Cassidy said, but the decision is not based on a physical issue.

"We liked Sean's game up here," Cassidy said. "He's good on getting on pucks. Forecheck has been a big part of how we're able to create some of our offense, and he gives us that. So we'll see how that plays out."

The Bruins trail the best-of-7 series 3-1. They have lost each of the past three games by one goal, with two of the losses in overtime.

Kuraly, a 24-year-old rookie, played in Games 1 and 2 in Ottawa but was scratched in Games 3 and 4 at Boston. He had one assist in eight regular-season games after making his NHL debut on Nov. 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"It's exciting," Kuraly said. "It's where you want to be as a player. It's a chance you really want to get, and thankfully I have.

"Obviously it's high stakes and managing the puck is critical, just advancing zones. Every little play matters and you've just got to realize that even if it might not seem like a game-changing play, that's what can be a game-changing play."

Spooner was the second-line center in Games 1 and 2, with David Krejci out of the lineup; his usual role is third-line center. Spooner has not been particularly effective against the Senators, though he has two assists in four games.

"He could play," Cassidy said of Spooner. "We're just making a decision. It's more about what Sean brings right now than Ryan. Clearly Ryan does some very good things for us -- I'm not going to address everything. But we just made a decision that Sean is a center iceman as well, who can also play the wing, will bring us good qualities as well. So we had to make that decision."

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