Zdeno Chara thanks Bruins fans after devastating end to season

"We never could have made it this far without you."

Zdeno Chara took the ice at TD Garden prior to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Just four days after the Bruins lost to the Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, captain Zdeno Chara saluted Bruins’ fans on his Instagram account.

“On behalf of all of the players and from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of our fans for your support and loyalty this year,” Chara wrote Sunday. “We never could have made it this far without you. We will be back…”

Chara played in Games 5, 6, and 7 after fracturing his jaw in Game 4. The often stoic leader was emotional about the reaction he received upon returning in Game 5, writing “I can still hear the overwhelming cheers and applause from our fans.”

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Chara confirmed Friday at the Bruins’ break-up day that he fractured his jaw and will need 5-6 weeks to recover. Doctors inserted two plates, wires, and screws into his jaw and played the rest of the series with a custom jaw protector attached to his helmet. He also went on a liquid diet after the injury.

Read his full remarks below:

It’s been only few days, but I can still hear the overwhelming cheers and applause from our fans. I knew we had the best fans, but I didn’t realized how special and remarkable you are till I stood in front of you before Game 5. It was an unbelievable experience to have your support.

I couldn’t help to fight back tears, but so happy to respond to adversity and be there with my teammates.

It was unbelievable feeling of pride and honor to be a Bostonian. We as Bruins fell short of our team goal, but we’re so grateful that we made you proud.This group of players and coaches are very special. I can’t say enough about how many times our team responded the right way to adversity and embrace the challenges. We believe in hard work.We treat each other equally and with respect.We trust each other and depend on each other, but mostly we love to play for this community.

On behalf of all of the players and from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of our fans for your support and loyalty this year. We never could have made it this far without you. We will be back…

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It’s been only few days, but I can still hear the overwhelming cheers and applause from our fans. I knew we had the best fans ,but I didn’t realized how special and remarkable you are till I stood in front of you before Game 5.It was an unbelievable experience to have your support. I couldn’t help to fight back tears, but so happy to respond to adversity and be there with my teammates. It was unbelievable feeling of pride and honor to be a Bostonian. We as Bruins fell short of our team goal, but we’re so grateful that we made you proud.This group of players and coaches are very special.I can’t say enough about how many times our team responded the right way to adversity and embrace the challenges. We believe in hard work.We treat each other equally and with respect.We trust each other and depend on each other, but mostly we love to play for this community. On behalf of all of the players and from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of our fans for your support and loyalty this year. We never could have made it this far without you. We will be back...

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