Zdeno Chara fined for vicious cross-check on Brendan Gallagher

Zdeno Chara, Boston's big man on the blue line, has avoided suspension after feeding the neck of Montreal's Brendan Gallagher some lumber on Wednesday night. (Twitter/@HeresYourReplay)

The oldest active player in the NHL won’t be missing any time as a result of his actions on Wednesday night.

The NHL Department of Player Safety announced Thursday that Zdeno Chara has been fined $5,000 — the maximum amount allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement — for cross-checking Brendan Gallagher’s neck.

During a classic, spirited tilt between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, Chara roughed up Gallagher pretty good prior to a draw during the second period.

At the time, the sequence earned both Chara and Gallagher coincidental minors — Chara for cross-checking and Gallagher for roughing.

Chara, who turns 43 in March, has played over 1,700 NHL regular-season and playoff games without receiving a suspension. Considering the blunt, aggressive style that he plays, that’s quite the accomplishment.

The incident between Gallagher and Chara isn’t the first time that things have become interesting between the two while lining up for a faceoff. During Game 7 of the second-round matchup between Montreal and Boston in 2014, Gallagher’s stick persuaded Chara to transition from a standing position to laying on the ice in one swift motion.

The play was a pretty good metaphor for the series. Montreal — the lower seed — went on to win the game 3-1 to defeat the Goliath of the Eastern Conference and move one step closer to the Stanley Cup.

In 2014, Gallagher got the last laugh. And while he had to pay a healthy sum of money for feeding the Canadiens’ pest some lumber on Wednesday, Chara got the final chuckle in the latest chapter of their rivalry.

The Bruins — powered by David Pastrnak’s fourth hat-trick of the season — won 4-1 to cement themselves at the top team in the Atlantic and make Montreal’s quest for a playoff berth all the more difficult.

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