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Bruins center Ryan Spooner will miss Game 5 vs. Senators

04.21.17 at 2:56 pm ET
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Ryan Spooner will miss Game 5 tonight. (Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports)

Ryan Spooner will miss Game 5 tonight. (Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports)

Game 5 in Ottawa will be played without one of the club’s key power-play contributors and 78-game presence during the regular season, as Bruins center Ryan Spooner will miss tonight’s must-win contest.

Replaced on a de facto fourth line by Sean Kuraly, who played in Games 1 and 2, for Friday’s morning skate, Spooner’s return to the press box was confirmed by Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy following the morning skate at Canadian Tire Center.

“Ryan’s not 100 percent, and we liked Sean’s game up here,” Cassidy said. “He’s good on getting on pucks, and forecheck has been a big part of how we’re able to create some of our offense, and he gives us that.

“I don’t know what’s going on mentally, but physically yes, [Spooner is] not 100 percent, which listen, there’s guys throughout the series that end up like that, but I don’t want to expand anymore than that. We liked the way Sean’s played, as much as anything.”

In spite of his five-on-five struggles this series, Spooner has been productive at less than 100 percent, with two assists (both secondary assists scored on power-play goals), which means that this ailment has to be something significant, no?

“No, he could play, we’re just making a decision,” admitted Cassidy. “It’s more about what Sean brings right now than Ryan.”

That means that this is more about providing an extra jump in the forechecking and defensive game, which you will get with Kuraly in over Spooner, especially after a Game 4 defensive zone gaffe from his entire line that led to the game’s only goal.

But Spooner’s loss will affect a Boston power play that’s accounted for two of the B’s eight goals through four games. In his place, the Bruins are expected to go with the full load-up plan that will put David Krejci in his spot on the first unit.

“Clearly Ryan does some very good things for us, I’m not going to address everything,” Cassidy said. “But we just made a decision that Sean is a center as well that can also play the wing that will bring us some good qualities as well.”

Kuraly has five hits, a blocked shot, and has won two of five faceoffs in 16:21 of total time on ice in this series.

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