Defenseman Zdeno Chara is expected to be back in the Boston lineup on Saturday against the Islanders after he was scratched from the Bruins 5-4 win over  Winnipeg on Thursday night to allow his surgically reattached jaw time to heal from its latest setback.

“I feel ready to go and I want to play and I’m excited for tomorrow,” said Chara following Friday’s practice. “Of course, I wanted to play (Thursday) but sometimes you have to listen to your body and the doctors. I think the decision was made for the right reasons. Today is a new day and I’m getting ready for tomorrow’s game.”

Chara had an abscess removed from his jaw area earlier in the week but still played in Monday’s 6-2 win at Nashville. Chara took a looping right-hand punch to the jaw in a ruckus with Predators forward Vakov Trenin, but that was not the source of his pain.

Chara suffered the initial injury in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final against the St. Louis Blues on June 6. Chara experienced multiple fractures to the jaw when he took a puck off the stick of Blues’ center Brayden Schenn. Chara had surgery on Dec. 23 to removed plates and screws from his jaw and was scratched from the Bruins 7-3 win over the Capitals.

“We talked to him about the danger of playing through what he’s going through and he wants to play every game,” said Coach Bruce Cassidy. “But that was a decision made higher up that he should take the game off.”

SENATORS: Jim Little was hired Friday as chief executive officer of the Ottawa Senators, a team looking for a boost on the ice and at the gate.

Owner Eugene Melnyk, whose team is tied for the second fewest points in the league, had been the CEO since the NHL club split with Tom Anselmi in February 2018. The Senators said Friday that Little will be responsible for business strategy, focusing on marketing and community relations.

“We’ve got a passionate and dedicated team of professionals, on and off the ice, and a community that wants us to succeed,” Little said in a statement. “Together, we will.”

FRIDAY’S GAMES
HURRICANES 3, COYOTES 0: Petr Mrazek stopped 32 shots for his third shutout of the season, and Lucas Wallmark and Martin Necas scored in a 63-second span near the end of the second period as Carolina beat Arizona.

It was the second straight night the Coyotes were shut out. The Hurricanes were up 1-0 when Wallmark’s tip of Dougie Hamilton’s shot went off Antti Raanta’s glove and head before landing in the goal 1:13 before the second intermission.

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