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Julien: Chara should play despite dehydration battle

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Despite being treated at the hospital for dehydration Friday night, Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara is expected to be in the lineup for Saturday's Game 2 at TD Garden

"Until our medical staff tells us he can't go, he's in tonight," Boston coach Claude Julien said Saturday morning after the team's optional morning skate.

Julien, though, pointed out that it is not his decision to make.

"I'm certainly not going to be the guy making the final decision," he said. "Our medical people are, but they have yet to tell him that he can't go."

The team announced Saturday morning that Chara was treated at a local hospital for dehydration, confirming a story first published by the Boston Herald.

Otherwise, they were very tightlipped about the status of their No. 1 defenseman.

Many of his teammates did not even find out that Chara was hospitalized until they arrived at TD Garden Saturday's morning skate.

Yet, they also believed, to a man, that Chara will be in the lineup Saturday night for Game 2 of the best-of-7 series.

"I'll be surprised if he's not in the lineup," center Patrice Bergeron said

If the team's medical staff does rule Chara out of the lineup for Game 2, Shane Hnidy will likely be his replacement.

Hnidy, 35, was signed as a free agent in February. He trained with the team for close to a month – to get into gamed shape – and saw three games of action late in the season, after Boston had secured its postseason presence. Hnidy had no points and 2 penalty minutes in those three contests.

In 37 career playoff games, Hnidy has 2 goals, 6 points and 27 penalty minutes.

Chara skated in Friday's morning practice after playing a game-high 25 minutes and six seconds in Thursday's Game 1. He was, not, however, his usual dominating self. Several times, Montreal forwards beat him wide with speed in the attacking zone and he lost more puck battles than usual.

His absence, if the doctors hold him back, would be a huge hit to the Bruins, who need to win to avoid heading to Montreal in an 0-2 hole.

Chara plays in all situations and logs the most minutes of any defenseman on the team. His slap shot from the point was Boston's most effective weapon in Game 1 and he is a constant threat in the offensive zone.

In 77 career playoff games, Chara has 7 goals and 20 assists. This regular season, the perennial All-Star  had 14 goals and 30 assists.

He's our leader, he's our captain, he's 6-foot-9, 260 pounds; he's a big presence for us," Boston forward Shawn Thornton said. "He's been one of our best players in the four years I have been here."

Montreal has its own injury issues, although nowhere near as grave as Boston's.

Saturday morning, Montreal coach Jacques Martin said Andrei Kostitsyn would be a game-time decision, potentially throwing Montreal's lines into flux.

Kostitsyn did not take part in Saturday's morning skate. He took a Chara slap shot in the foot on his first shift of Game 1 and missed considerable time before returning to finish the game. Montreal did not practice Friday, so Kostitsyn has not been on the ice since the end of game 1.

Jeff Halpern, who has been out with an lower-body injury since March 30, took part in the morning skate, replacing Kostitsyn on a line with Michael Cammalleri and Thomas Plekanec. 

After the morning skate, Cammalleri said that he has no idea what will happen with his linemates in Game 2.

"I don't know," he said. "I've had two linemates (Kostitsyn and Halpern) and now they are both in there," Cammalleri said, his eyes moving to the trainer's room. "We'll see what happens."