Bruins

‘Emotions were high’ for David Pastrnak, Bruins after beating Zdeno Chara in playoffs

"I can’t thank him enough for what he did for me."

Boston Bruins players were emotional after beating Zdeno Chara. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins eliminated the Washington Capitals from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday with a 3-1 victory.

In the process, the Bruins also eliminated an old friend: Defenseman Zdeno Chara. Chara left the team this past offseason to join the Capitals, with whom he believed he would have a bigger role.

Chara left a major impact on his teammates.

“Zdeno is a guy who helped me grow up as a person, and especially [showed me] how to be a pro,” David Pastrnak told reporters in his postgame Zoom call. “It was a little emotional, but I can’t wait to catch up and I hope to see him back home at the end of this. The emotions were high and I can’t thank him enough.”

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Patrice Bergeron played with Chara for 14 years. The duo captured the Stanley Cup in 2011.

“We’ve had so many battles together,” Bergeron said. “It was definitely different to play him in a playoff series. Obviously, we played against each other all year. Kind of helped getting used to it for the playoffs, but that being said, it’s always different at that time of the year. Try not to think about it, try to play your game and concentrate on what we can do as a team. I definitely feel great to finish it off right away tonight.”

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After Chara signed with the Capitals, he had been told he would not start with the Bruins.

“A lot of credit to (Bruins GM) Don Sweeney, how he handled the situation, but for me, I felt that it would be a better fit for me if I found a better role with another team and step aside and let the Boston Bruins go in the direction they choose to do,” Chara told the Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont.

Still, Chara appreciated his time in Boston.

“‘Thank you’ does not seem adequate to express my sincere gratitude,” Chara wrote in an Instagram post announcing his departure. “I will always be a Bruin. I will always love Boston.”

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