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Coyle Returns for Boston Bruins, Struggling Kuraly Scratched

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Charlie Coyle

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins will get one of their stalwarts back in the lineup as Charlie Coyle is back in the lineup after missing Wednesday night’s game due to COVID-19 protocols.

The brief absence would be mostly likely explained by a false positive test somewhere along the way for the B’s third line center, but he was present for pregame warm-ups after clearing the NHL’s nightly COVID-19 list. As for the lineup, it looks like fourth line center Sean Kuraly will be a healthy scratch after a critical turnover in the third period of Wednesday night’s game cost the Boston Bruins a point in the shootout loss.

Kuraly has been a minus-7 over the last five games amidst some pretty mighty struggles from the Bruins fourth line and Bruce Cassidy had some critical words for him following Thursday’s practice.

“Sean has been a major part of our penalty kill which has been good all year, and he’s been very good on face-offs from the left dot,” said Cassidy. “But away from that some other parts of his game have leaked oil at times. Last night he had some turnovers where I just don’t think he was skating.

“A player will call them bad decisions, but I think you make better decisions when your feet are moving. [On Wednesday night] he had some turnovers, on the penalty kill and one on the goal against, where I don’t think he was thinking about getting the motor running first and getting up ice. I think that’s where he needs to be better, get moving and get driving.”

Coyle was heating up prior to Wednesday night’s absence coming off a 2-goal game last weekend in a needed road win over the New York Rangers, and will slot back in to his third line spot beside Trent Frederic and Craig Smith. Jack Studnicka will take the struggling Kuraly’s spot between Anders Bjork and Chris Wagner on the B’s fourth line for Friday night’s game vs. Washington.

Here’s the NHL Health and Safety Protocol list for Friday night’s games with Coyle now off and nobody on the list for the Boston Bruins:

Anaheim – none

Arizona – none

Boston – none

Buffalo – none

Calgary – none

Carolina – none

Chicago – none

Colorado – Dennis Gilbert

Columbus – none

Dallas – none

Detroit – none

Edmonton – none

Florida – none

Los Angeles – none

Minnesota – none

Montreal – none

Nashville – none

New Jersey – none

NY Islanders – none

NY Rangers – none

Ottawa – none

Philadelphia – Joel Farabee

Pittsburgh – none

San Jose – TBA

St. Louis – none

Tampa Bay – none

Toronto – none

Vancouver – none

Vegas – none

Washington – none

Winnipeg – none

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

Copyright ©2020 National Hockey Now and Boston Hockey Now.

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