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Boston's Captain Comes Through

Chara's big shot put the B's over the Habs in Game 1

Friday, 04.17.2009 / 9:00 AM ET / Features
By Angela Latona  - Intern | BostonBruins.com
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Boston\'s Captain Comes Through
Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara, left, celebrates after he scored the go-ahead goal against the Montreal Canadiens in the third period of a first-round NHL hockey playoff game in Boston on Thursday, April 16, 2009. The Bruins won 4-2. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
He is said to have the hardest shot in the league. He is man; he is myth. He is legend.

“He’s our heart and soul. I think it’s pretty obvious he’s such a valuable player for us, and he’s done a great job in all areas, so I can’t say enough about him,” head coach Claude Julien said of Zdeno Chara after he lifted the Bruins to a win over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night in front of a sold-out Garden crowd.

Big Zee, whose slap shot from the point ripped through space and time, was also the admirable captain, setting an example of self-control throughout the first game of the playoff series.

“[I liked] the fact that he was disciplined and didn’t get sucked into penalties, which could have been easy for him to do. I liked the way he led our team tonight, and it was quite appropriate that he scored the winner,” Julien said.

And for a game with 60 combined penalty minutes, that wasn’t the easiest of feats. But then again, neither was dredging up the game-winner with 8:45 to go in regulation.

“We changed things around a little bit,” Julien said of putting Chara on the final power play line. “We just twisted things around a little bit. You know, sometimes you try and find a little bit of a spark.

“[I liked] the fact that he was disciplined and didn’t get sucked into penalties, which could have been easy for him to do. I liked the way he led our team tonight, and it was quite appropriate that he scored the winner.” - Claude Julien
“We just kind of fine-tuned a few things, and it worked out in our favor.”

But the man with the 105 mph slap shot doesn’t see his as the stuff of folklore; he’s just happy to have had the open lane.

“I had a lot of time...and there was nobody there, so I took the shot,” Big Zee said, simply. “We battled back, we didn’t get down and we stood with it and we got rewarded.”

That ‘we’ mentality is what the towering defenseman is all about. Credit, he said, goes to the entire team, and the younger players who stepped up and delivered, because one win means nothing in a best-of-seven series.

“They [The Canadiens] compete hard. They play hard. We know what we have to do,” he said. “I’m just happy that we won the first game. It's just one game. In a series you have to win [four] games. This is just one game.”

The Habs-Bruins match up marks the 32nd time these two rivals have faced each other in the postseason, the last time with their rankings reversed and the outcome going to the Canadian squad. That series went all seven games, proving Chara’s words truer than anyone might want to believe.

It’s just one game. But one game that the Bruins can notch into their playoff belts.

Game 2 is this Saturday night on Boston ice at 8 p.m. EST.

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
3 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
4 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
7 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
8 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 53 19 26 7 45
L. Eriksson 53 16 24 10 40
D. Krejci 43 12 27 1 39
R. Spooner 53 11 27 -8 38
B. Marchand 48 25 12 11 37
Z. Chara 51 7 21 7 28
M. Beleskey 51 8 18 8 26
T. Krug 52 3 21 2 24
J. Hayes 51 11 12 -8 23
B. Connolly 50 7 9 -6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 19 16 5 .916 2.56
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .911 2.58
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