Boston is thrilled to have Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup against New Jersey tonight, his first game of the season after missing three with a lower-body injury.
But to make room for Bergeron, the club had to bid farewell to Austin Czarnik.
Czarnik, who made his NHL debut in a season-opening win over Columbus, has been sent back to AHL Providence, the B’s announced on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Czarnik did an admirable job of filling the gap while Bergeron was out. He appeared in two of Boston’s three games, and played over 15 minutes against the Blue Jackets — impressive, given his pro career consists of just 71 games at the AHL level.
McQuaid and Miller are still sidelined, which will give young d-men Rob O’Gara and Brandon Carlo a longer look at the NHL level.
Given how much head coach Claude Julien has been forced to rely on young, untested players, Boston’s start has to be viewed as a positive. The club went 2-1-0 on a three-game road swing through Columbus, Toronto and Winnipeg, outscoring opponents 11-8.
Boston will now play three straight at TD Garden, against the Devils, Habs and Wild.