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A close examination of the Zdeno Chara’s playing minutes late in Game 1 reveals that his ice time (3:37) in the third overtime ranked eighth among Boston’s skaters. That’s a surprise. Big Z is a minutes monster, who typically leads the club.
Chara finished 15th overall in average ice time per game (24:56) among all NHL skaters in the regular season, just over one minute more per game than the closest Boston workhorse, Dennis Seidenberg (23:47), who often pairs with Chara on Boston’s No. 1 shutdown unit. Even with his diminished role in the third OT in Game 1, Chara as of Saturday averaged a whopping 30:16 of ice time per game in the postseason.
But as Game 1 drew to a close, Chara’s shifts diminished.