When Bruins face Chara for 1st time, friendship is on ice

Bruins

FILE – Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) skates with the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Washington, in this Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, file photo. Brad Marchand saw enough as Zdeno Chara’s teammate to know how to approach the Capitals defensemen when they are in opposite uniforms: “Don’t poke the bear.”(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins know Zdeno Chara well enough to know he won’t be taking it easy on his former teammates.

They will face him for the first time Saturday when Boston plays the Washington Capitals.

Chara spent 14 seasons as the Bruins captain and led them to the 2011 Stanley Cup championship.

He left as a free agent this offseason rather than accept what could have been a diminished role in Boston.

Bruins forward Brad Marchand says he plans to keep his distance and added: “You don’t want to poke the bear.”

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