Bruins

Chara, DeBrusk out rest of B's trip with upper-body injuries

Chara, DeBrusk out rest of B's trip with upper-body injuries

SUNRISE, Florida – The Bruins will be without a couple more of their front-line guys at least through the weekend.

Zdeno Chara and Jake DeBrusk were both missing from the morning skate Thursday at the BB&T Center and will miss games against the Panthers tonight and Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday with upper-body injuries sustained in the comeback win over Carolina. Chara tumbled upper body-first into the boards midway through the third period and appeared to be complaining of discomfort in the shoulder area on the bench before exiting for good. DeBrusk and Carolina’s Elias Lindholm got tangled before the rookie crashed into the boards early in the Tuesday night game, but he remained in the game and kept playing until he eventually had to exit in the third period as well.

The moment of truth for both will be when they get looked at by the Bruins doctors next week after returning to Boston.

“Upper body. Won’t play tonight and won’t play Saturday. We’ll have a better idea on both of them next week once we’re back in Boston,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “I can’t really answer to [the severity]. I’m not worried it’s long-term, but once [Chara] gets further evaluated we may get bad news. But that’s kind of the initial reaction right now.

“[The injuries] all seem to snowball at once. Two guys are out and another guy is questionable or probable for us, and we were already down two guys. But at the end of the day, we’ve said it…somebody else goes in. Adam [McQuaid] has been chomping at the bit to get back in, so he’ll come in and contribute. We chose to sit Tommy Wingels the other night, so he’s ready to go in. There is always a positive when a negative happens, and that’s the way we try to look at it.”

Torey Krug also had an upper-body injury in the third period Tuesday, but he felt well enough to skate on Thursday morning and is “questionable-to-probable” vs. the Panthers, according to Cassidy. The Bruins called up Anton Blidh and Paul Postma in case they’re needed with the recent rash of injuries and Cassidy is back to finagling with the lineup until he finds combos that will work.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings based on the morning skate with Anton Khudobin set to play tonight vs. the Panthers and Tuukka Rask penciled in to play vs. the Lightning on Saturday:

Marchand-Nash-Pastrnak

Heinen-Krejci-Nash

Wingels-Backes-Gionta

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

 
Holden-Miller

Krug-McQuaid

Grzelcyk-Carlo

 
Khudobin

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Zdeno Chara pays tribute to father in emotional Instagram post after Bruins' win

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USA TODAY Sports

Zdeno Chara pays tribute to father in emotional Instagram post after Bruins' win

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara knows a lot of people have helped him become a future Hall of Fame player in the NHL.

His father is right at, or near the top of the list.

After Chara made history by scoring the 200th goal of his career in Boston's 7-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, the B's defenseman took to Instagram to pay tribute to his dad and thank him for all the help he's provided. Check out the photo below: 

View this post on Instagram

Past few days has been overwhelming. First my birthday,then contract extension and last night clinching the play offs. As soon as I got to my locker I saw a text from my Father. My dad is an old school tough guy. He raised me with tough love and literally beat my ass at home and kick it in the gym.He showed me what hard work is and what it takes to get where you want to be. Never took it easy on me. I hated it then,but I am grateful for it,because hard work and discipline its part of who I am. I called him on the plane. To hear my Dad expressed his happiness and love felt good. He was bugging me about 200 for a while,so when I scored last it felt good cause that goal was for him. This is for you Dad. Love you. PS: Thanks for all the kicks in my ass ! LoL 😂 #dad #toughlove #200

A post shared by Zdeno Chara (@zeechara33) on

Chara also signed a one-year contract extension Saturday to remain with the Bruins through the end of next season. The 42-year-old veteran remains one of the better defensemen in the league, and his value to the B's during even strength, the power play and penalty kill is immense. His leadership on and off the ice sets a great example for the entire team as well.

The Bruins clinched a playoff spot with Saturday's win. It will be their ninth playoff appearance in the 12 seasons since Chara came to Boston, and he's been the driving force of the team's success over that span.

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Recapping milestones Bruins hit with playoff-clinching win vs. Panthers

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USA TODAY Sports

Recapping milestones Bruins hit with playoff-clinching win vs. Panthers

The Boston Bruins secured a Stanley Cup playoff berth with Saturday night's 7-3 win over the Florida Panthers, and they set, tied or extended a few milestones as a result.

Here's a recap of the notable Bruins milestones from the playoff-clinching victory.

--The Bruins will soon make their 72nd appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Only the Montreal Canadiens (83) have made more appearances.
--The Bruins will be the third team in NHL history to play in 100 best-of-7 playoff series.
--Boston improved its record to 46-20-9 for 101 points. It represents the Bruins' 23rd 100-point season in history, extending their own league record. The next closest teams are the Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers with 19 100-point seasons.
--The Bruins almost certainly will play the Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens in Round 1. If that happens, it will be the seventh time in their last 10 playoff appearances that the Bruins have faced a Canadian team in the first round. Boston is 4-2 in the previous six matchups. There's about a 98% chance the Bruins will play the Leafs in Round 1 for the second consecutive year.

The Bruins cannot catch the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division, so their next goal is clinching home ice advantage in Round 1.

This is a very important objective for the B's given their success at TD Garden this season -- Boston owns a 28-7-3 home record. Home ice also proved to be a huge factor in the B's beating the Leafs in their 2013 and 2018 first-round playoff series, both of which ended with a Game 7 victory in Boston.

So, while the Bruins' first major objective of the regular season has been accomplished, there's still work to be done over the final seven games.

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