Berkshire Bank Faceoff: Bruins Get Set To Take On Blues Without Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara, Jiri TlustyThe Boston Bruins are in St. Louis to take on one of the best teams in the league, and they’ll have to do that without one of the NHL’s best defensemen.

The B’s will take on the Blues in their second-to-last game before the league-wide Olympic break, and they will have to do so without Zdeno Chara. The Boston captain is in Russia where he’ll be the flag bearer for the Slovakian national team at the Olympic opening ceremony.

Chara’s absence, as deserved as it may be for the D-man, puts the Bruins in a bit of a difficult position for the final two games before the break. The club recalled David Warsofsky earlier in the week from Providence, and he’ll be in the mix against the Blues on Thursday night.

The Bruins have already preached the importance of a full team effort in helping to pick up the slack in Chara’s absence, but much of that will fall on the burly shoulders of Johnny Boychuk. The 30-year-old becomes the unit’s old man as he’ll skate with a host of young D-men against St. Louis and again on Saturday against Ottawa. The good news for the Bruins is that Boychuk is coming off one of his most effective games of the season in Tuesday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks.

The projected lines for both the Bruins and Blues can be found below.

Bruins (36-16-3, 75 points)

Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly — Carl Soderberg — Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton

Matt Bartkowski — Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug — Kevan Miller
David Warsofsky — Dougie Hamilton

Blues (37-12-6, 80 points)

Alex Steen — David Backes — Chris Stewart
Jaden Schwartz — Derek Roy — Vladimir Tarasenko*
Magnus Paajarvi — Patrik Berglund — T.J. Oshie
Brenden Morrow — Maxim Lapierre — Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester — Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman — Kevin Shattenkirk
Jordan Leopold — Roman Polak

Hockey 4 Housing

During the 2013-14 regular season, Berkshire Bank Foundation will donate $200 for each successful penalty kill by the Bruins to Habitat for Humanity.

Follow the tally as the team rallies toward its goal of $50,000!

As of April 14, 2014, the Berkshire Bank Foundation has raised $44,000.

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