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Chara again finalist for Norris

By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / April 27, 2012
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The NHL announced Thursday that Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is one of the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the defenseman who demonstrates the best all-around ability during the regular season. Nashville’s Shea Weber and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson are the other finalists.

It is the fourth time in the last five years Chara has been a finalist. He won his only Norris Trophy in 2009. Chara finished third in the voting last year, when Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom won and Weber was second.

In 79 games this season, Chara had 12 goals and 40 assists for a career-high 52 points, while averaging 25:00 of ice time. He scored eight power-play goals and was credited with 166 hits and 87 blocked shots.

Chara’s primary responsibility was to serve as a shutdown defenseman against opponents’ top forwards. In a player poll conducted by the CBC, Chara was voted the league’s best shutdown blue liner.

Chara missed two games because of a sprained knee, and was held out of the second-to-last regular-season game as the Bruins prepared for the playoffs.

The winner of the Norris Trophy and other NHL awards will be announced June 20 in Las Vegas.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at fshinzawa@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto.

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