Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec (14) threads between Boston Bruins\' Zdeno Chara, top, and Dennis Seidenberg while skating to the goal during the first period of a first-round NHL hockey playoff game in Boston, Thursday, April 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON - Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was scratched for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoff series against Montreal on Saturday night after being hospitalized for dehydration.
The team confirmed Chara was out just minutes before the opening faceoff.
The Bruins lost Game 1 on Thursday night 2-0. They have never come back in a series after losing the first two games.
The six-foot-nine captain was the top-scoring defenceman on the Bruins with 14 goals and 30 assists. He did not miss a game all season before sitting out the finale to get extra rest for the playoffs.
The team said on Saturday morning that Chara was hospitalized during the night for dehydration, reportedly after flu-like symptoms.
"Until our medical staff tells me he can't go, he's in tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the team's optional morning skate on Saturday.
Chara played 25 minutes in Game 1, then practiced Friday afternoon before being struck by the illness. He has missed just a total of 10 regular-season games, eight because of injury, in his five seasons with the Bruins.
"I think if it's up to him, he'll definitely play," Julien said in the morning. "The only people that'll hold him back are our doctors. That's the type of players you want on your team and he's got that attitude."
Some of Chara's teammates were not aware that the defenceman was hospitalized.
"I didn't know until last night," said forward Milan Lucic. "He's a battler. And I'm sure he'll do whatever he can to be able to get himself ready to play tonight."
The series shifts to Montreal next week for Game 3 and 4.