Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was a surprise absence from the lineup on Thursday night, with the team providing little indication before puck drop that he would not be available. However, the reasoning is tied to the only cause of missed action for Chara dating back to the 2019 postseason. Chara suffered a fractured jaw in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final and missed the remainder of the game, though he admirably returned for Games Five through Seven. Chara underwent surgery this summer, but was healthy by training camp and the 42-year-old has not dealt with any other injuries so far this year. Chara only missed his first game of the season back in December due to a clean-up procedure on his jaw. Now, it seems the jaw has stuck again, after Chara took a couple of good shots from the Nashville Predators’ Yakov Trenin in a fight on Tuesday night. There has been no time frame provided for Chara’s return to action, as this could simply just be soreness related to the surgically-repaired jaw, which would lend itself to the late announcement that he would not play. The Bruins will be happy to have their veteran leader back whenever he is ready, as the iconic defenseman continues to play big minutes for Boston.
- Drake Caggiula has returned to the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday after having missed nearly two months with a concussion. Caggiula, who was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers last season, is hoping he can return to the same level of production he flashed after initially arriving in Chicago, recording 12 points in 26 games. Caggiula had just four points through 15 games to begin this season, but the opportunity is there for the two-way forward to take on a bigger role for the offense-challenged Blackhawks.
- Winnipeg Jets rookie David Gustafsson played his first 22 games of the season in the NHL and then played well at the World Junior Championship. His reward? A demotion to the AHL. The Manitoba Moose report that Gustafsson has been reassigned to the team, where he will make his AHL debut after reporting directly to the Jets after coming over from Sweden this year. Gustafsson had just one lone point with the Jets before being loaned to the WJC, but if his production in the SHL and on the international stage are any indication, he could be a scoring force for the Moose and earn his way back to Winnipeg shortly.