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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Hockey

Zdeno Chara starts in Game 5 for Bruins despite broken jaw

Zdeno Chara

Not even a broken jaw can keep Zdeno Chara off the ice.

Showing the toughness that made him captain, Chara was in the starting lineup for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final for the Boston Bruins against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. That’s despite Chara suffering a broken jaw after being hit by a deflected puck in Game 4 of the series on Monday.

After being hit early in the second period, Chara left for the dressing room where he was stitched up. He returned to the Bruins’ bench for the third period with a full “fishbowl” helmet but he did not play. He just wanted to be there supporting his teammates.

Chara only had two days off between games and was initially described as a game-time decision for Game 5. He participated in the pregame skate and then took the ice with his teammates for Game 5 in Boston with the series tied 2-2.

The Bruins had seven defensemen available for the game. The series is tied 2-2.

Zdeno Chara can’t speak or open mouth, gives written answers to media

Zdeno Chara

If Zdeno Chara is somehow able to play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday, the Boston Bruins captain will be showing an unthinkable amount of toughness.

Chara is dealing with a significant jaw injury that he suffered when a puck hit him in the face during the second period of Game 4 on Monday night. He is considered a game-time decision for Game 5, but we got a glimpse into the severity of the injury when he had to give written responses to questions from the media on Thursday. The 42-year-old is unable to open his mouth or speak, but he said — or wrote — that he will not be thinking about injuring himself further if doctors clear him to play.

All indications are that Chara will play if he can get clearance. It remains to be seen how effective he will be, as you have to wonder about things like him being able to eat or sleep if he can’t even open his mouth. With the Bruins dealing with an injury to another key defender after an illegal check in Game 2, you have to believe Chara is going to do everything in his power to be on the ice.

Zdeno Chara a game-time decision for Game 5

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara gave fans a positive sign when he was on the ice with the Boston Bruins for their morning skate on Thursday, but the team remains uncertain if he will be able to play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Chara, who was wearing a mask to protect his injured jaw, skated for a while and took part in some drills. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters the 42-year-old is a game-time decision, and whether or not he plays will be up to him if doctors clear him.

If Chara gets clearance, it would be shocking if he chose not to play. Brad Marchand said the captain wanted to return to Game 4 after taking a puck to the face in the second period, but doctors wouldn’t allow it. That may have had more to do with concussion concerns, but Cassidy says Chara passed those tests.

The Bruins could end up without two key defensemen in Game 5 Thursday night, as Matt Grzelcyk is also still questionable after he sustained a concussion on an illegal check in Game 2. With the series tied 2-2, both players will likely do everything they can to get cleared.

Brad Marchand says doctors stopped Zdeno Chara from returning to Game 4

Zdeno Chara

The Boston Bruins were dealt a major blow in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday night when Zdeno Chara left with an injury and was unable to return, and Brad Marchand says the captain would have come back if doctors allowed it.

Chara took a puck to the face after blocking a shot early in the second period of Boston’s 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. He was bleeding from the mouth and skated off the ice into the dressing room. The 42-year-old later returned to the bench wearing a full fishbowl mask, but he never got back onto the ice.

According to Marchand, Chara wanted to get back into the game but had to follow doctor’s orders.

While the Bruins have not specified, it sounds like Chara may have suffered a broken jaw. His status for Game 5 is uncertain. Chara has taken a beating in the playoffs this year, as he also missed Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final with a lower body injury and suffered a bloody wrist while blocking a shot earlier in the series against St. Louis.

The Bruins may still be without defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in Game 5, as he has been out since suffering a head injury on an illegal check in Game 2. If neither Chara nor Grzelcyk can play, Boston will have its hands full defensively.

Zdeno Chara appears to have jaw injury, status unclear for Game 5

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara appears to have suffered a jaw injury after being hit by a puck during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

The Boston Bruins defenseman blocked a Brayden Schenn shot early in the second period of his team’s 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The puck deflected off his stick and hit him in the lower right side of his face, leaving him bloodied. Chara skated off the ice and into the dressing room.

Though Chara returned to the Bruins’ bench for the third period wearing a full fishbowl, he did not play.

Chara sat on the bench and was not talking, leading NBC Sports Network’s analysts to speculate after the game that he may have had a broken jaw.

TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported that Bruins sources told him a broken jaw for Chara was possible.

Teammate Brandon Carlo said after the game that Chara was bleeding out of his mouth and couldn’t really talk, which led Joe Haggerty to say it sounded like a jaw injury.

Chara was advised not to return to the game, which is why he did not play after suffering it. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said he is not sure about Chara’s status for Game 5 and that the captain would be reexamined in Boston.

Cassidy also said Chara had some stitches and will probably need some dental work.

The 42-year-old defenseman missed Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final against the Carolina Hurricanes with a lower body injury. He’s taken a beating during the Final and even suffered a bloody wrist blocking a shot in Game 1.

Game 5 of the series will be on Thursday in Boston.

Vladimir Tarasenko embellished so hard on this penalty

Vladimir Tarasenko flop

Connor Clifton was called for a bogus penalty in the second period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday thanks to a great acting job by Vladimir Tarasenko.

The St. Louis Blues were up 2-1 on the Boston Bruins with a little over six minutes remaining in the second period. Tarasenko was going after a puck against the boards when Clifton skated near him to swipe the puck. The contact between them was minimal, though Tarasenko did shove Clifton.

But check out the embellishment by Tarasenko:

That acting job helped draw 2-minute minor penalty on Clifton for an illegal check to the head.

Perhaps as a measure of karma, the Bruins tied the game on a Brandon Carlo shorthanded goal about 30 seconds later. Tarasenko did score a goal in the first period to put the Blues up 2-1.

Zdeno Chara bloodied after taking puck to face

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara left the ice during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday after being hit by a puck.

The Boston Bruins captain deflected a puck while blocking a Brayden Schenn shot early in the second period. The puck sneaked up and appeared to catch Chara around the lower part of his face.

Chara was bleeding from around the lower right part of his mouth and had a towel up against it to absorb some of the blood.

Chara went into the dressing room after that and missed the rest of the period.

The Bruins captain, who is one of the few remaining players in the league to not wear a visor, may come back with more protection after getting stitches.

The 42-year-old defenseman assisted on the Bruins’ first goal of the game.

Boston leads the series against St. Louis 2-1.