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Chara likely sidelined tonight

He lists return as day to day

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / December 13, 2011
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WILMINGTON - Zdeno Chara offered to conduct yesterday’s interview standing or sitting down. Not that it mattered much to the Bruins captain. He wasn’t going to let the lower-body injury he suffered in Saturday night’s 5-3 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets prevent him from doing either.

For the record, Chara opted to stand when he spoke to reporters after sitting out yesterday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.

Saying he felt “better than I expected,’’ Chara remained uncertain about his availability against the Los Angeles Kings tonight at TD Garden.

“There’s no time frame on when I’m going to be back, but most likely, I won’t be playing [tonight],’’ said Chara, who appeared to injure his left knee in a collision with the Blue Jackets’ Antoine Vermette during the second period.

“That’s as far as I can tell you right now,’’ he said, “because honestly it is at a stage right now where we can’t talk about it any further than 24 hours ahead.’’

Although he did not skate yesterday, Chara completed an off-ice workout.

“Nobody wants to miss games,’’ Chara said. “It’s something I take a lot of pride in and any time I can play, I’ll play. Through injuries or sickness or whatever it is, but you also have to be smart because you don’t want to do something that will cause serious problems or things that can hurt you in the future.’’

Chara said he isn’t making projections on his return.

“The plan is to take it a day at a time, really,’’ he said. “You can’t really put a time frame on it. You basically have to see how it feels and it feels better than I expected.’’

That no doubt came as encouraging news to coach Claude Julien.

“Right from the start, we didn’t know how severe it was,’’ Julien said. “We anticipate having him back sooner than later and that’s why he’s been labeled day to day.’’

Chara has missed only 12 regular-season games during his Boston career.

Kings fire Murray

The Kings, losers of four straight, will have a new leader behind the bench tonight. Coach Terry Murray was fired yesterday amid high expectations and mediocre returns. Assistant coach John Stevens will be the interim coach.

The Kings, who have made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, made big offseason moves to acquire forwards Mike Richards and Simon Gagne in the hopes of keeping pace with high-scoring Western Conference powers Vancouver, Chicago, and San Jose.

However, the Kings are in 11th place in the West and have just 65 goals, second fewest in the NHL.

Murray went 139-106-30 with the Kings after taking over in 2008.

Campbell, Paille iffy

Gregory Campbell was wearing a walking boot and did not practice yesterday. He is doubtful after taking a shot off his left skate Saturday.

Daniel Paille, who returned last Thursday vs. the Florida Panthers for the first time since suffering a mild concussion, is questionable tonight. He was injured on a hit along the boards by Florida’s Krystofer Barch. Paille did not play Saturday.

Paille participated in non-contact drills skating with Jordan Caron and Shawn Thornton during the 40-minute practice.

“I felt good about it,’’ Paille said. “I was told to stay away from contact, but I felt pretty strong throughout the whole practice. I think it’s about getting your wind and stamina back, but it’s only been a couple of days so that shouldn’t take too long.’’

Before he is medically cleared to play, Paille said he has to follow protocol by passing a neurological test, which he has not taken.

“He could be [in the lineup],’’ Julien said. “But it all depends how everything goes. He still has to go through a couple of things and that was another stage he went through today.’’

NHL fines Marchand

The NHL hit Brad Marchand with a $2,500 fine for slew-footing Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen Dec. 5 . . . With the injuries up front, the Bruins recalled Zach Hamill from Providence on an emergency basis . . . Patrice Bergeron led the team on its annual Holiday Toy Shopping event yesterday at Target in Woburn. Each player was provided a shopping list from local hospitals receiving the donation. Last year, $20,000 worth of toys were purchased and donated by the team and organization.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Michael Vega can be reached at

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