Zdeno Chara hadn't been holding his breath for his first career hat trick, but he was able to breathe a sigh of relief after becoming the fourth defenseman in Bruins history to accomplish the feat.

 

"You're always kind of thinking about how it would be nice to have that kind  of a game in your career, to say, 'Hey, I've done it, I had a hat trick,' but for myself, it took 14-15 years. I'm not expecting to have another one anytime soon."

 

Zdeno Chara had his first career hat trick, while Tim Thomas recorded his seventh shutout of the season in a 7-0 Bruins win over the Hurricanes. Chara joined Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque and Glen Wesley as the only Bruins defenseman to record three goals in a game. 

 

Cam Ward was the bad guy when he shut out the Bruins at the Garden back on Nov. 26, but the Bruins were able to chase him from the game in just 11:26 thanks to goals from Mark Stuart and Chara.

 

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was named the No. 2 star of the week for the week ending on Jan. 16. The 25-year-old was runner-up to Hurricanes winger Jussi Jokinen, who had four goals and three assists in three games for Carolina during the week. 

 

Bergeron also had seven points during the week, scoring four goals and adding three assists over a four-game stretch in which the B's went 3-1-0. On the season, Bergeron has 14 goals and 20 assists for a team-leading 34 points in 44 games.

 

Bruins coach Claude Julien said prior to Monday's matinee vs. the Hurricanes that the team will see the return of Milan Lucic and Mark Stuart to the lineup.

 

Lucic has missed the last three games with an undisclosed injury, while Stuart has been out since Dec. 7 with a broken hand and dislocated finger. The team sent defenseman Matt Bartkowski to Providence on Sunday in order to activate Stuart, who had been placed on injured reserve a week prior. 

 

The Penguins wanted to return the favor after the B's beat them twice in Pittsburgh this season.



Rookie defenseman Steve Kampfer was sent to the hospital with a broken nose after being bloodied by teammate Zdeno Chara 57 seconds into the second period. 

 

"He went to the hospital and has a broken nose," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "They are just checking him out. We're going to find out more and the severity of it [Sunday]."

 

Jordan Staal scored early in the third period and the Bruins lost defenseman Steve Kampfer to a bloody facial injury as the Bruins fell to the Penguins, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. The Bruins had several chances in front of Marc-Andre Fleury in the final 90 seconds but couldn't net the equalizer. 

 

Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters prior to Saturday's game against the Penguins that Tuukka Rask will start for the B's. Rask's last start came against the Penguins, as he earned a win in the Bruins' 4-2 come-from-behind victory in Pittsburgh on Monday.

 

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has those who praise him, and he has his critics. In the case of the latter, some question his contract, while others wonder whether he's the right man to be wearing the "C" on his jersey.  



Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters on Friday that defenseman Andrew Ference is dealing with an upper-body injury, explaining his absence in the third period of Thursday night's 7-5 win over the Flyers.   

 

Julien said that Ference is "very questionable" for Saturday's game against the Penguins.

 

"We're hoping it's minor enough that we'll see him back soon," Julien said.