NEW YORK — As reported in today's Globe, captain Zdeno Chara did not make the Saturday night charter flight to Manhattan (via Newark) and was not in the lineup here this afternoon against the Rangers.
According to Bruins coach Claude Julien, Chara also might have to sit out Tuesday night's game in Ottawa against the Senators.
"He'll be out a short time," said Julien, who did not identify the
nature of Chara's injury. "It's minor. He's out [today] and possibly in Ottawa, too."
Chara appeared to hurt a shoulder in the second period of Saturday's Garden matinee against the Capitals but returned to play effectively in the third period. He scored the tying goal in Boston's 2-1 victory. Later Saturday, there were Canadian media accounts that had Chara sidelined for the season with a separated shoulder — reports that were off base, according to Chara's agent, Matt Keator.
According to Julien, ‘Big Z' underwent X-rays and an MRI after the game Saturday, and the club had held out hope he might fly here today and be able to suit up against the Blueshirts (8-0-3 in their last 11). But the banged-and-bruised Chara knew by early Saturday night he would not be able to play here.
Defenseman Aaron Ward, who exited the lineup early last week with a deep contusion of the right foot, skated here in the morning, but he also was unable to pull on a sweater. He now has missed four games in a row since sustaining the contusion Monday night in Washington.
"He was hoping to play, but it's not the case," said Julien. "We hope he's able to play in Ottawa."
Alex Auld, the winner in net Saturday, was Boston's keeper against the Rangers, too.
"He's played well for us," said Julien. "It's an opportunity for him to keep it going."
No. 1 goalie Tim Thomas was the victim of back-to-back shellackings last week, 10-2 at Washington, and 8-2 at home vs. the Maple Leafs.
"Tim needs a bit of a rest," noted Julien. "He's tired, physically and mentally. He's a good goalie when he's fresh, and we have to give him a chance to rest."
Rookie defenseman Matt Lashoff, recalled from Providence (AHL)immediately after Saturday's win, took Chara's spot in the lineup.
"It's defense by committee today," said Julien.
Lashoff suited up for nine games with the varsity earlier this season and collected 2 points (1-1-2).
The Bruins experienced a particularly tough landing in Newark Saturday night, their charter flight tossed around in the wind upon descent.
"Scariest moment of my life," said bostonbruins.com scribe John Bishop.
No injuries were recorded in the toss-a-thon, other than upset stomachs and frayed nerves.