Chara leaves game early as Bruins fall to Blues, 4-2


BOSTON -- The Bruins got another lesson on Tuesday night as to just how valuable Zdeno Chara still is to their team as a No. 1 defenseman.

Chara was knocked out of the game one shift into the second period after taking a heavy hit from Jaden Schwartz, and the Bruins allowed three second period goals en route to a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden. The loss snapped a modest three game winning streak for the Bruins on home ice, and dropped them to a record of 4-4 overall at TD Garden this season.

Things looked like they were moving in storybook fashion early when David Backes scored the game’s only first period goal, a rebound strike on the power play against his former Blues team that was the B’s franchise’s 20,000th goal in club history.

Then Chara exited after his first shift in the second period, and Jori Lehtera redirected a Colton Parayko point shot past Tuukka Rask to tie things up a couple of minutes into the middle period. It looked like the B’s stabilized things when Dominic Moore scored on a nifty shorthanded goal to once again give the Bruins a slim one-goal advantage, but that’s when the Blues really turned up the heat.

The next two goals were both scored with rookie Brandon Carlo on the ice attempting to hold the fort without his 39-year-old defensive partner, and the Bruins perhaps in a little bit of panic mode without their big captain. Robert Bortuzzo scored on a bad angle backhanded goal after Tuukka Rask attempted to swat a puck away from the net, and then two minutes later Paul Stastny scored on a rebound as the Bruins flailed away attempting to clear the puck out of the zone.

Lehtera finished things off in the third period with his second goal of the night, an empty netter that iced things for the Blues.

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