Defenseman Zdeno Chara
will return to the lineup Saturday after sitting out the previous two games with a knee injury when the Boston Bruins
meet the Flyers here at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon.
"It felt good [Friday] in practice and there were no setbacks," Chara told the media about two hours before the opening faceoff. "You never really put a time frame on when you are going to be back [following an injury]. It depends on how you feel. It wouldn't matter who we were playing today … I'm not returning just because it's Philadelphia. I'd be playing no matter what; I just want to be playing."
Chara appeared to injure his left leg in a second-period collision Dec. 10 with Columbus Blue Jackets
forward Antoine Vermette
. The Bruins have won seven of their last nine games and are just two points behind the Flyers for top honors in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins are 6-5-3 in the 14 regular-season games Chara has missed during his tenure in Boston. The Bruins captain has six goals, 19 points and a plus-18 rating in 2011-12.
Chara said it wasn't fun sitting and watching from the sidelines and is looking forward to helping his club continue its winning ways. Since launching a 10-game winning streak Nov. 1 with a 5-3 victory against Ottawa, the Bruins have gone 17-2-1.
"It's hard to really make comments on the games when you are not playing," Chara said. "It's like watching television … you don't see those plays develop and what's causing them or what's causing the breakdowns. We found a way to win and that's a positive, but also we need to be better.
"The games against the Flyers are always good. We're two physical teams so those are the kind of games that are always fun to play."
To make room for Chara in the lineup, the Bruins assigned defenseman Steven Kampfer
to their American Hockey League affiliate in Providence on Friday night. In seven games with the Bruins this season, Kampfer has one assist and a plus-six rating.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale