Zdeno Chara will make history Thursday night.
When the puck drops for the New York Islanders-San Joe Sharks showdown at SAP Center, Chara will break the record for the most games played in hockey’s top flight by a defenseman. The contest will mark the 1,652nd in the NHL for the veteran blueliner, who made his debut in the league in November of 1997.
Prior to Chara’s record-breaking appearance, Bruins legend Bobby Orr delivered kind words to Boston’s former captain via Twitter.
“Congratulations to @zdeno33 for tying the most NHL games played by a defenseman,” Orr tweeted Wednesday. “Big record breaking game tomorrow night! You’re a great pro and person. Thanks for all you’ve done for the game.”
The Isles still have 35 regular-season games following Thursday’s stop in San Jose, so Chara will be able to add some breathing room atop the games-played-by-a-defenseman leaderboard. One of those tilts will be against the B’s at TD Garden on March 26.