Editor’s note: On Sunday, May 31, at 7 p.m. ET, NESN will be airing “Chara at 1000,” celebrating Zdeno Chara reaching the 1,000 game milestone in a Bruins uniform. In the lead-up to that, we will be remembering Chara’s finest moments in Boston — both on and off the ice. For more stories celebrating Chara, click here.
Zdeno Chara never will be confused for a prolific lamp-lighter, but the Bruins defenseman always has possessed more offensive skill than people give him credit for.
Never have those skills been on display more than they were Jan. 17, 2011.
Chara went off for three goals against the Carolina Hurricanes, giving him his first — and, thus far, only — hat trick of his NHL career. The Bruins went on to win the game 7-0 and, of course, won the Stanley Cup a few months later.
Chara scored his first goal of the night against Carolina netminder Cam Ward — hardly a slouch. Ward later was replaced by Justin Peters, whom Chara burned for two more goals. After burying his third tally, the towering defenseman was showered in chapeaus by a raucous TD Garden crowd.
Relieve the awesome moment in the video below:
Chara, ever a class teammate, was predictably humble after his big night.
“I wasn’t really thinking about scoring the third goal, I was thinking about making the right play,’’ he said, via Boston.com. “It’s always been my priority to win the games. That’s playing good defensively and that’s my job, to shut down top lines. I take my pride in that than obviously thinking about hat tricks.”
Still, don’t think Chara wasn’t thrilled to do something most defense-first blueliners never accomplish.
“You’re always kind of thinking about it would be nice to have that kind of a game in your career,’’ he said. “So then you can say, ‘Hey, I’ve done it, I had a hat trick.’
“But for myself, it took 14-15 years, so I’m not expecting to have another one soon.”