Chara warms up for Game 2/By S. Bradley

MONTREAL — Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara looked like his jolly old self on the ice this morning — smiling and chatting with teammates before and during drills.

After the team’s morning skate at the Bell Centre in preparation for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with Montreal, Chara did not speak to the media. Obviously, he’s going to let his play send his message.

Head coach Claude Julien offered this update on the ailing blueliner, who missed Game 2 due to what’s being called “dehydration.”

“I think he’s better,” said the coach. “You saw him on the ice this morning. As we speak right now, it’s looking good. But I can’t stand here right now and say he’s a definite in.”

Chara took the warm-up before Game 2 but was too ill to play. The Bruins lost 3-1 to fall behind, 2-0, in the series.

Chara’s teammates didn’t want to comment too much on his condition.

“Zee looks great. We’re happy to have him back. Obviously he’s a big part of this team,” said center Chris Kelly.

Winger Shawn Thornton added: “He always looks good to me. Who am I to judge him? He looked fine. So I hope he’s good to go.”