Chara upgraded from green to pale

Zdeno Chara. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

Zdeno Chara. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:22 PM ET

Zdeno Charas status has been upgraded from green to pale.

That means the big Boston Bruins defenceman will likely play tonight in the biggest game of the season for the Bruins, who trail the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

Chara, who feebly took the warmup before Game 2, but did not play because of dehydration, skated in the Bruins morning skate at the Bell Centre in preparation for Game 3 tonight.

He looked green, was the way Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli summed up Charas appearance Thursday night in Boston.

Chara, who is rumoured to be suffering from a virus which has also affected some other Bruins, led the team in their post-practice stretch (you can check out a photo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/CJ_Stevenson) this morning which is a good sign.

As I speak right now, it looks good, said Bruins coach Claude Julien of Charas status for tonight. But I cant stand here and say definitely hes in.

If Chara does play, hell face a hostile reception from the Bell Centre crowd.

Hes already booed on a regular basis here. But this is the first game here since Chara knocked Montreal forward Max Pacioretty into a stanchion between the benches, leaving Pacioretty with a fractured vertebra in his neck. Pacioretty is skating, but there is no date set for his return.

Some fans called 911 asking the police to investigate the incident and the file remains open.

The third-seeded Bruins have looked tight and nervous in the first two games, falling behind early and then being stymied by Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.

The big test is to stay loose, said Julien, who is on the hotseat and could well be out of a job if the Bruins lose this series. In order to have energy and succeed, youve got to be loose to a certain extent. That doesnt mean youre not focused or intense. You cant be nervous, you cant be tense to the point its taking all the energy out of your system.

Its a matter of going out and having the confidence to play the game we think we can.

The Canadiens didnt have the best morning skate, but Canadiens winger Mike Cammalleri said the issue was addressed by coach Jacques Martin.

Every game is going to get tougher and tougher, said Habs defenceman Hal Gill. The first five minutes tonight is going to tougher than the first two games. We know they are going to have that resolve. We know they are going to come out hard.

The challenge for the Canadiens will be to keep their composure and play the efficient game they did in Boston despite what will be a loud and passionate crowd at the Bell Centre.

Theres no reason to run around and start playing uncharacteristically, said Cammalleri. Theres going to be ebbs and flows and theres going to be times when Boston has the edge in play and thats when the crowd can help.

The availability of forward Andrei Kostitsyn will be a game time decision. He missed Game 2 with a sore foot which he suffered when hit by a Chara shot in his first shift of Game 1.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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