BOSTON — The Bruins will play their first game on TD Garden ice this season on Friday night, and captain Zdeno Chara will be in the lineup for the preseason home opener against the New York Islanders.
Chara had a scare earlier in the week when he was hit on the inside of the left leg with a shot during practice on Monday. He did not play in Tuesday's Black and White Game in Providence, R.I., or the club's first preseason game in Ottawa on Wednesday, but he avoided serious injury and has been cleared to play on Friday.
"Yeah, I'm very glad that it wasn't [serious]," Chara said after Friday's morning skate at the Garden. "Obviously, it's something that you'll worry about when it does happen, but I was pleased in a good way that it wasn't as bad as it looked. I took all the necessary steps to make sure it was nothing major. It isn't, so we'll have to still treat it. [It's] nothing really major."
In addition to getting a couple days of rest, Chara also underwent treatment for the contusion on his leg.
"You have to do different things," Chara said. "Obviously, icing [it] is one of them. Doing a little bit of other things that make the swelling go down and away. Obviously, the pain is just a factor that I can handle. As far as the swelling and being able to have the full range of motion, that's the key."
In addition to Chara, Tim Thomas is expected to make his preseason debut in this game. He was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate, usually the indication of who will start.
The morning skate also revealed the likely line combinations for Friday's contest. Up front, youngster Jared Knight will get a chance to impress as he skated on the top line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Rich Peverley occupied Mark Recchi's old spot on the right wing of the second line alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Zach Hamill was flanked by Jamie Arniel and Daniel Paille and Alexander Khokhlachev centered Lane MacDermid and Benoit Pouliot.
On defense, Chara was paired in the morning with Steven Kampfer, Matt Bartkowski was with Johnny Boychuk and Zach McKelvie skated with Dennis Seidenberg. Anton Khudobin will be the second goalie dressed on Friday.
Overall, it's a veteran-laden group that will take the ice for the first game at the Garden since the Bruins beat the Canucks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final back in June, forcing the decisive Game 7 in Vancouver that brought the Cup back to Boston for the first time since 1972.
"It's always nice to be playing at home in front of our fans," Chara said. "I'm sure they're very excited, so we just need to have a good performance."
The expected lineup for the Islanders includes Winthrop, Mass., native and former first overall pick Rick DiPietro, defenseman Mike Mottau of Avon, Mass., and forward Jay Pandolfo of Winchester, Mass., who is in New York's camp on a tryout basis. Former Bruins defenseman Steve Staios is also in camp with the Islanders and is scheduled to play on Friday.