BOSTON — Zdeno Chara probably will never get enough credit for what he’s done for the Boston Bruins organization.
But on Saturday afternoon, he did get some much-deserved recognition.
The captain reached a pair of milestones this season, playing in his 1,500 game Nov. 5, then his 1,000 contest with the Bruins on Jan. 13.
Ahead of the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes, the Bruins held a ceremony for Chara — and they pulled out all the stops. A video tribute was played with well-wishes from many NHL stars past and present, and he was presented gifts from his teammates and the organization.
Chara’s wife and kids were on the ice with him for the ceremony, and that was the aspect of the tribute that he appreciated most.
“I felt extremely honored and proud. Lot of emotions going obviously,” Chara said following the game. “Everybody did such an amazing job to make it as nice as it was. I was extremely happy that my family was able to be there, because those are the ones that obviously — especially my wife, so many sacrifices over the course of my career — and I couldn’t be happier to have them there with me. To be acknowledged — again, I’m standing there but I’m representing so many other people that helped me along the way. Without their help and support and love I wouldn’t have been able to play this long. I really appreciated it, the guys did an amazing job. So thankful and grateful for that ceremony.”
It’s been a tremendous run for Chara, who certainly will be the focus of ceremonies for many years to come.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Coyotes game:
— Sean Kuraly has provided the Bruins’ third line with a nice jolt.
Since slotting in with Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork, the trio have found nothing but success. In the latest run with that third unit, Coyle buried the Bruins’ tying goal in the second period, with both Bjork and Kuraly on the ice for the tally (though they were not credited with assists).
The three were thrown together ahead of Tuesday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks, so make what you will of a three-game sample size. But during this run Kuraly has a goal and assist, Bjork has a pair of helpers and Coyle has three goals and an assist (one of the goals was Saturday’s empty-netter).
“It’s been feeling pretty good,” Coyle said after the win. “Me and Bjork have been together for a little bit, we’ve gotten to know each other and talk a lot. Sean’s a pretty easy guy to read off of, pretty straight-line guy, he’s got the speed too — I like to play with guys who can go like that. And he works, he’s just a dog out there and he’s relentless.”
— Tuukka Rask was plenty busy in the win, making a handful of big saves as the Bruins preserved a one-goal lead through much of the third period.
With the win, Rask set a new franchise record for a home point streak from the start of the season. Over his last 18 games at TD Garden, Rask is 12-0-6, passing Gilles Gilbert’s mark in 1973-74, when he went 16-0-1.
— John Moore made his return to the lineup after being healthy scratched the last five games.
Skating initially on the second pairing with Torey Krug, Moore ended up seeing some big minutes due to Jeremy Lauzon’s ejection. Moore skated for 22:58, with his 30 shifts in the game second only to Charlie McAvoy’s 32.
Late in the game Moore went down the tunnel, which typically indicates an injury of some kind. Head coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t entirely sure what happened.
“I’ve got to get an update on that,” Cassidy said. “I don’t know if he blocked a shot or if it was a stinger or something going on. I saw him walking around after, he seemed fine. That’s a bit of a concern, obviously.”
— Brandon Carlo is expected to meet the team in Detroit on Saturday night after receiving a personal day due to a family issue.
The Bruins will have to wait and see what kind of defensive depth they’ll end up having against the Detroit Red Wings, since possibilities exist that Carlo has travel issues, Lauzon faces supplemental discipline and Moore could be hurt. For that reason, Cassidy didn’t completely rule out a a defensive call-up from Providence before the 12:30 p.m. ET puck drop Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images