Zdeno Chara set for 1,500th NHL game as Bruins visit Montreal

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 01: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins looks on in the third period against the Montreal Canadiens during the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will join an elite club on Tuesday night, as he will suit up for the 1,500th game of his National Hockey League career when the B's take on the rival Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

When the puck drops on Game No. 1,500, Chara will become just the 21st player in league history to hit that milestone and just the sixth defender to hit that mark. (For those wondering, Nicklas Lidstrom, Ray Bourque, Larry Murphy, Scott Stevens, and Chris Chelios are the other defensemen to hit the 1,500 game plateau, and Chelios is No. 1, with 1,651 games.)

"It's very humbling," Chara said ahead of Tuesday's game. "It's something that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. I have so many people that I should be thanking, obviously starting with my parents. They did such a great job of raising me and so much sacrifice for me to be able to play hockey.

"It's a special, special night."

It's all kinds of incredible when you recognize the role that the 42-year-old Chara is still playing for the Bruins, too, as a more-than-capable top-pairing defender tasked with making many of the league's top talents disappear on a nightly basis.

"He's redefined the position by the way that he defends but also put up offense, his shot," Patrice Bergeron, who Chara considers his co-captain of the Bruins, said. "True competitor and an amazing accomplishment."

Up front, the Bruins are expected to dress Zach Senyshyn for his first NHL game of the year. The 15th overall pick from the 2015 NHL Draft, Senyshyn comes to the Big B's with two goals and an assist in 12 games for the P-Bruins this year, and with one goal (an empty-net strike) and four shots on goal in two career contests in the NHL.

Tuukka Rask will get the start in net for the Bruins. Rask is coming off a 30-of-32 winning effort over the Senators last Saturday, and has a 7-0-1 record and league-best .949 save percentage on the year. Rask has won six straight starts in Montreal, and has stopped 182 of 191 shots over that stretch, good for a .953 save percentage.

The Canadiens will counter with Carey Price. Coming off a 36-save loss to the Stars on Saturday, Price will look to get himself back to where he was the five games before the loss, as he was in the midst of a heater that included four wins and just nine goals allowed.

This will be the first of four head-to-head meetings between the B's and Canadiens in 2019-20. The Bruins went 2-1-1 against Claude Julien and Co. last year.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.