BOSTON – Zdeno Chara wasn’t afraid to credit the Detroit Red Wings with giving the Bruins a much more difficult battle in the first round than a five game playoff series might indicate. The Bruins captain also wasn’t fearful of showing some good old-fashioned pumped up emotion after scoring a pivotal goal in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Red Wings in Game 5 at TD Garden.
Chara stepped into a one timer attempt and unleashed a trademark screaming slap shot from the right point that gave Boston a one goal lead with 3.8 seconds remaining in the second period. The 6-foot-9 defenseman then let out one of his patented Arnold Schwarzenegger-style Predator screams in celebration, raised both his fists in delight and wasn’t afraid to show a little emotion in a close-out game.
“We had only a few seconds left, and [it was] kind of a 50-50 puck down low. We won the battle for the puck and Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] just showed how quickly he can see the opening. He made a really great pass to me,” said Chara. “I mean - I was emotional. It was a big game and a big goal. So, I’m not afraid to show it.
“I’m not really looking at it as a slap shot, I’m looking at it as a goal that put us ahead. It was at the end of the second, so it gave us, obviously, a jump. It really doesn’t matter at the end of the day if it was a bomb or kind of bouncing puck that goes in. They all count, and that’s what matters.”
The score was Chara’s second power play goal of the series, and it gave the Bruins a lead they wouldn’t relinquish again in the game. The Boston goal also capped off 22:43 of solid work at both ends of the rink while tracking the dangerous Pavel Datsyuk/Henrik Zetterberg/Justin Abdelkader through the game.
Chara finished the first round series averaging 25:09 of ice time in the five games, and that’s perhaps the most important stat of all when it comes to keeping the 37-year-old fresh through the entire two month run.