The Bruins have been dealt an expected but massive blow, as captain Zdeno Chara is dealing with a broken jaw suffered in Game 4, according to The Athletic's Jeremy Rutherford.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) June 4, 2019
Chara suffered the injury on an errant puck to the face off Brayden Schenn's stick (and then Chara's stick), and knocked the 6-foot-9 Chara out for the remainder of the second period of Game 4. And though Chara returned for the third period with a full shield, the 42-year-old did not take a single shift, and struggled to even speak with his teammates during stoppages.
The word of Chara's injury comes just hours after Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy did not have a definitive update on Chara prior to the team's departure for Boston.
"He has to get back to Boston, get looked at a little closer," Cassidy said. "We'll go from there."
Playing through a broken jaw, while not common, is not impossible, as then-Rangers Derek Stepan missed one playoff game before returning to action for the Blueshirts (and scoring two goals in his first game back) during the Rangers' run to the Stanley Cup Final back in 2014.
If Chara is not ready to go for Game 5, however, the Bruins will entertain throwing one of Steve Kampfer, Urho Vaakanainen, Jeremy Lauzon, or Jakub Zboril into their lineup. Cassidy has also not ruled out the possibility of dressing seven defensemen.
Game 5 is Thursday night at TD Garden.