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Czarnik Slots Into Lineup; Stafford Moves to Off Wing

Austin Czarnik will center the third line in place of Ryan Spooner, who is sidelined by a concussion

by Caryn Switaj @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - The Bruins are back in action at TD Garden on Wednesday night at they host the Detroit Red Wings. 


Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. EST on NBCSN and 98.5 The Sports Hub. 


Boston will be without Ryan Spooner for the game. General Manager Don Sweeney announced on Tuesday that Spooner has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be sidelined indefinitely as the team follows the NHL's concussion protocols. 

Spooner took a hit in the third period of the Bruins' game in Ottawa on Monday night. 


"He got hit, and so he left and it was relayed to me that he wasn't feeling well," said Interim Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. "And then we found out yesterday that he was concussed." 


With Spooner sidelined, the Bruins recalled forward Austin Czarnik from the Providence Bruins. Czarnik was previously assigned to Providence on Feb. 23, and has spent the past two weeks suiting up in five games for the P-Bruins. 


Czarnik will slot into the lineup on Wednesday night in Spooner's spot, centering a line with Frank Vatrano on his left wing and Jimmy Hayes will be back in the lineup on his right wing. 


"When he's playing his game, he's got good energy, he's on the puck, he's creating some turnovers with his foot speed, his stick, and his hockey IQ, he's making plays," said Cassidy. 


"Him and Vatrano certainly have some chemistry, and he's been good in situational hockey for us - his PK work's been very solid…He's going to get to play in all situations, and hopefully he's ready to respond. He's had some experience up here, he should know what to expect, and he's healthy."


"I'm just going to try to help the team out tonight and help us get the win tonight," said Czarnik. "I'm comfortable in the middle. Being back with Frank is good because we have chemistry from the last two years, so I'm excited for the opportunity tonight and just looking forward to it."


Stafford Moves to Left Wing with Krejci 


Based on Wednesday's pregame skate, Drew Stafford will get a look on his off wing against the Red Wings, with David Krejci at center and David Pastrnak at right wing. 


The trio spent morning skate together, and that gave Stafford a better idea of how Krejci and Pastrnak like to play. 


Stafford did spend some time on his off wing when he was in Winnipeg last season. 


"I've got a little bit of experience over there, so I like entering the zone usually on your off wing leaves a little more options, especially if you're turning up, so there's some advantages to it," said Stafford. "And obviously it's a matter of in our D zone, switching a few things up and then trying to figure out Krejci's and Pasta's tendencies in the D zone and hopefully figure out fast."


Cehlarik a Scratch Up Front 


With Stafford getting a night on Krejci's wing, Czarnik slotting in for Spooner, and Hayes back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Monday night in Ottawa, Peter Cehlarik will be a healthy scratch, along with Matt Beleskey. 


"Offensively, he still makes his plays, he's gotten some chances, he's a little bit snake-bitten. If we're sitting here and he had three or four goals, it might be a different conversation, but the facts are he doesn't, even though the chances were there," said Cassidy.


"If this were earlier in the year, you might let it play out a little longer, but it's not, so we're going to try Stafford. He might be a better fit there," said Cassidy. "We've discussed this, this shouldn't come as a surprise, we've talked to [Stafford] about maybe playing the left side, moving up in the lineup, so that's what we're going to do."


"Give Peter a chance to go upstairs and watch the game up there - I think the areas that we're looking for improvement with him is strong on pucks, managing the puck, and that's the curse of a lot of young players when they start playing against men and he's no different, he's going through a bit of it now, and we'll see how it plays out going forward." 


Bouncing Back 


As the Bruins get set for the Wings, they're looking to bounce back from Monday's 4-2 loss to the Senators. 


Detroit is at the bottom of the Atlantic Division and in last place in the Eastern Conference entering the night's action, but the Black & Gold can't afford to ease up - especially with the postseason push in full swing. Boston sits in third place in the Atlantic Division. Toronto is two points back with a game in hand.  


"That's the focus - we obviously want to focus on getting points and getting wins, no matter who we play, " said Zdeno Chara. "For sure, you don't want to lose too many game at this time of the year. We are fighting for every point, so for sure the focus is on us and how we're going to play."


Projected Lineup vs. Detroit March 8


Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Backes

Drew Stafford - David Krejci - David Pastrnak 

Frank Vatrano - Austin Czarnik - Jimmy Hayes

Tim Schaller - Dominic Moore - Riley Nash 


Zdeno Chara - Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Colin Miller - Kevan Miller 


Starting Goalie: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Anton Khudobin 


Scratches: Peter Cehlarik, Matt Beleskey, Joe Morrow, John-Michael Liles 


Injured: Ryan Spooner (concussion) 


Video: With Spooner out, Bruins lineup gets a tweak

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