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Zdeno Chara leaves game with upper-body injury

Zdeno Chara left with an upper-body injury shortly after a hit from Ranger Ryan Bourque.
Zdeno Chara left with an upper-body injury shortly after a hit from Ranger Ryan Bourque.Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, playing in his first preseason game of the season on Thursday night, lasted only 1:57 against the Rangers. He left with an upper-body injury and did not return to a game the Bruins won, 4-3, in a shootout.

Chara skated off the ice at 4:12 of the first period. It was announced that he had an upper-body injury. Coach Claude Julien did not have an update on Chara’s status immediately after the game, saying only, “He’s going to get evaluated, I guess, closely. We’ll see. Upper body.”

Chara skated three shifts. It appeared he took a hit from the Rangers’ Ryan Bourque, being sent into the boards by the Bruins’ bench. Chara appeared to hit the boards in his hip area.

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The Bruins already were being forced to rely on a crop of inexperienced defensemen with Dennis Seidenberg out at least eight weeks because of back surgery. If Chara’s injury is serious, it could be devastating for the Bruins.

“He’s a huge leader on and off the ice,” Brad Marchand said of Chara. “He’s such a strong presence. I don’t exactly know what happened, but hopefully he’s OK.”

In Chara’s absence, the Bruins’ remaining defensemen played heavy minutes, led by Matt Irwin with 28:04. Colin Miller added 27:27, Joe Morrow 26:53, Adam McQuaid 21:34, and 18-year-old Brandon Carlo logged 18:51 and scored a goal.

Perhaps the most impressive was Morrow, who had the primary assist on Tyler Randell’s goal at 7:06 of the first period.

“Played well tonight,” Julien said. “Thought he was really, really good, and carried the puck, moving the puck well. There’s always things we can critique behind closed doors with some of the little things that we want him to improve on, but if you ask me for a rating, he got a real good rating tonight, especially when you’re down to five Ds.”

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Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.