After a brief NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night, 21-year-old Bruins prospect Ryan Spooner was sent back down to the AHL’s Providence Bruins a day later. Spooner had 5:29 of ice time while skating with Lane MacDermid and Jamie Tardif on the fourth line and fired one shot on net in the victory for the Black and Gold over their Northeast Division rivals.

Following the game, Spooner expressed appreciation for the chance the Bruins gave him to play in his first NHL game against the team he rooted for as a kid, and confidence that he’ll be even better the next time he gets a chance.

“It’s a role I’m not used to, but I’ll obviously come up and do anything they ask me to,” said Spooner. “After my first shift I think things went a little better, I had a shot or two on net and things calmed down a little bit.”

The move to place Spooner back in Providence is an encouraging sign that perhaps Brad Marchand (upper body) has improved to the point where he can play in a Saturday afternoon tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Marchand missed the Habs game and has had the benefit of six days of healing time after crashing into the boards against the Maple Leafs.

If Marchand can’t play, then Spooner is only a 45-minute drive away in Providence, through it might take a little longer to get to Boston as a Nor’easter blizzard is expected to pound Eastern Massachusetts on Friday and Saturday.