BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who has not played since sustaining an upper-body injury during a preseason game Sept. 24, is doubtful to play against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports), according to coach Claude Julien.
Chara has been practicing and took the morning skate Saturday. He did not play in the Bruins' 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
With Chara and Dennis Seidenberg (back) sidelined by injury, the Bruins' defense is short on shut-down ability and experience. That puts more of the onus on goaltender Tuukka Rask. The 2014 Vezina Trophy winner might see an increase in the number of shot attempts and the quality of the scoring chances he faces.
Rask is doing his best to nurture the defense corps as it tries to jell.
"I think we're just trying to play the game as a team and try to eliminate the mistakes we do and try to help out each other," Rask said. "Obviously the goalie, it doesn't matter what the situation is, he always plays a big part on the team. I'm just trying to be there for our guys and help us win some games."
Despite their 3-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, the Canadiens still see room for improvement.
"We were happy that we won but we didn't like the way we played," Montreal forward Dale Weise said. "Toronto outshot us; I think they outchanced us. We didn't have a lot of sustained offensive pressure in their zone. Give them credit, they played well and they played hard. But we didn't do enough of holding onto pucks. That's what we want to do tonight. We've got a good team. We play well down low, we cycle well, we've got good speed. We want to hold onto pucks in the offensive zone."
Here are the projected lineups:
Brendan Gallagher - Tomas Plekanec - Max Pacioretty
Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Alexander Semin
Dale Weise - David Desharnais - Tomas Fleischmann
Brian Flynn - Torrey Mitchell - Devante Smith-Pelly
Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert
Scratched: Paul Byron, Jarred Tinordi, Greg Pateryn
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Loui Eriksson
Matt Beleskey - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Jimmy Hayes - Ryan Spooner - Brett Connolly
Max Talbot - Chris Kelly - Zac Rinaldo
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid
Matt Irwin - Kevan Miller
Joe Morrow - Colin Miller
Injured: Zdeno Chara (upper body), Dennis Seidenberg (back)
Scratched: Tyler Randell, Joonas Kemppainen, Zach Trotman
Status report: Montreal coach Michel Therrien said Byron would make his Canadiens debut during their road trip, but it didn't appear there would be any lineup changes from the first game. ... Condon is scheduled to make his first start Sunday against the Ottawa Senators. ... Colin Miller and Talbot were healthy scratches for the Bruins' first game, but it looked like they would replace Trotman and Kemppainen, respectively, against the Canadiens.
Who's hot: Subban had three assists Wednesday for Montreal. ... Krejci had a goal and won 52.4 percent of his faceoffs against Winnipeg.