Chara to play with HC Lev Prague of KHL

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Chara to play with HC Lev Prague of KHL

Zdeno Chara isnt heading to his home country, but hell be close enough. The 6-foot-9 defenseman and the most important player on the Bruins roster has signed a deal with HC Lev Prague of the KHL, and will be in the Czech Republic to begin playing games by this weekend.

The deal was confirmed to CSNNE.com by Charas agent, Matt Keator.

Chara's move ends a quick flurry of decision-making in light of the fact that it appears the NHL wont be ending their lockout anytime soon. In fact, the word that Chara is headed to the Czech Republic can only be seen as a sign that the NHL players feel this current work stoppage will be long-term, not short-term.

Keator originally said that the Bs captain and former Norris Trophy winner was mulling several different options, and it was widely speculated Chara might end up skating with Bratislava in his home country. That choice would have given him a chance to reunite with former Bruins teammate Miroslav Satan in his homeland, but instead Chara selected a different option. Chara went with a league in the KHL that has a vested interest in challenging the NHL for hockey supremacy a league that will now have televised games on ESPN3 and is also paying players up to 65 percent of the salaries guaranteed to them in the NHL.

Chara will be playing with fellow NHL players Jiri Hudler and Jakub Voracek on the Prague Lions team, and will also join countrymen and good friend Marcel Hossa on the Lions. Chara last played for Team Slovakia in April during the World Championships after the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs by the Washington Capitals. Chara had four points in 10 tournament games.

Interestingly, Chara skated for Farjestads BK Karlstad of the Swedish Elite League during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, and told reporters he had a positive experience there when asked about it last month. Like all other Bruins players, Chara will have an out clause that will allow him to return to Boston once the NHL lockout has ended.

Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

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Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Tuukka Rask made 35 saves to help the Bruins hold off the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday

David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored to give Boston a 2-0 lead and the Bruins improved to 3-0-1 in their past four.

Evander Kane scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo. Robin Lehner returned after missing one game with a hip injury and made 32 saves.

The Sabres combined for nine goals in their previous two wins but the NHL's lowest-scoring team reverted to form from the first 21 games, when star center Jack Eichel was out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain.

Krejci got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first when he deflected Brandon Carlo's slap shot from the point off the right post and into the net.

The Sabres appeared to tie the game late in the second period but replays determined Brian Gionta kicked the puck into the net.

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 7:10 of the second at 7:44 of the third when he knocked on the rebound of his own missed shot. Bergeron initially hit the puck with his forearm on the left edge of the crease and skated around the net to chase down the puck and slip a backhand past Lehner.

The Sabres answered two minutes later, scoring on Rask for the first time in 109:12 this season. Sam Reinhart's feed off the rear wall set up Kane for a wrist shot from the slot that bounced in off Krejci. Reinhart has five points in his last four games.

NOTES: Bruins F Matt Beleskey was escorted to the dressing room in the final minute of the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. ... Sabres D Josh Gorges did not play after injuring his foot blocking a shot in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers. With Dmitry Kulikov (lower back) and Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain) also out, the Sabres were down three of their top four defenseman and recalled 19-year-old Brendan Guhle from the minors to make his NHL debut. Guhle hustled back to thwart a breakaway by Krejci late in the third period. ... F Anton Blidh became the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season after being recalled from the minors on Friday. ... The Bruins scratched F Jimmy Hayes. D Zdeno Chara, the Bruins' captain, missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Rask got a shutout in Boston's 4-0 win over Buffalo on Nov. 7.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Florida on Monday.

Sabres: At Washington on Monday.

 

© 2016 by STATS and The Associated Press.