The Boston Bruins’ pursuit of the Eastern Conference’s top seed
took a hit in their most recent contest, but their captain remains
on the ice.
Zdeno Chara and Boston look to defeat the New York Islanders for
the third time this season Friday night at Nassau Coliseum.
Chara, whose hard check severely concussed and cracked a
vertebra of Montreal forward Max Pacioretty on Tuesday, had two
assists in the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime loss Thursday against Buffalo.
While Montreal police have launched a criminal investigation of the
Pacioretty incident, the NHL did not give Chara a fine or
The home crowd supported him with loud cheers against the
“It’s something I very much appreciate,” Chara said. “I don’t
see any reason to change my game or my style of play. I’m going to
continue to play physical and play hard.”
The 6-foot-9 former Norris Trophy winner will continue to play,
and Boston may need him in order to catch East-leading Philadelphia
for the conference’s No. 1 seed with 14 games remaining. The
third-place Bruins are six points behind the Flyers.
Coach Claude Julien said Chara has handled the situation
“Obviously, his state of mind is not at best, which is normal,”
Julien said. “You understand what’s going on. It’s not easy but,
like I said, I thought he handled himself well (Thursday).”
Gregory Campbell, Nathan Horton and Mark Recchi scored for
Boston (38-20-9) in Thursday’s loss. Horton has a point in six of
The Bruins have defeated the Islanders (26-32-10) twice this
season, three straight times overall and in 10 of the last 12
meetings. They’re also 5-0-1 in their last six trips to Long
Chara has three assists in this season’s series, including one
in Boston’s 6-3 victory on Long Island on Feb. 17. Milan Lucic has
three goals and an assist versus the Isles this season.
New York has been playing better lately, improving to 3-0-2 in
its last five games after a 4-3 overtime win Tuesday against
Toronto. Blake Comeau, who had two assists in last month’s loss to
the Bruins, scored his fourth goal in as many games to beat the
Maple Leafs with 57.3 seconds remaining in overtime.
The playoffs are an extremely remote possibility for the
Islanders, who trail the eighth-place New York Rangers by 12 points
with 14 games to play. They would also need to leapfrog five
“We’re not out of it yet,” Comeau said. “As long as we keep
winning, crazier things have happened.”
Al Montoya made 24 saves in Tuesday’s win. He came on in relief
of Nathan Lawson against the Bruins in February, stopping 15 of 16
shots in 37 minutes.
John Tavares scored twice in that meeting, giving him four goals
and two assists in six career games against Boston.