Bruins welcome back their beast, pull even atop East

Chara/By S. Bradley

Sometime early in the Bruins game in Philadelphia today, the on-ice conversation probably went something like this:

Jody Shelley: “Hey, Zdeno, how are you feeling now that you’re back from a two-game absence?”

Zdeno Chara: “Let me show you.”

The language was probably a little saltier and might not have even been on that topic, but the Bruins captain wasted little time proving he was 100 percent healthy today. He dropped the gloves with the Flyers fourth-liner 2:13 into the Bruins’ 6-0 rout and landed several short lefts before scoring a takedown.

Chara was far from done after his fight, as he added a goal and an assist for a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” in the victory that lifted the Bruins into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference standings. By virtue of having more regulation wins, the Flyers are still technically ahead of the Bruins. But based on today’s performance, who can argue Boston isn’t better than Philly?

Other notables on the day:

•Joe Corvo, Tyler Seguin, and Rich Peverley (3 assists) also enjoyed multi-point days.

•Tim Thomas’ 31 saves earned him career shutout No. 30. He now trails “Mr. Zero” Frank Brimsek by five for second on the Bruins’ all-time list.

•Daniel Paille scored a goal, his third in two games. He now has six on the season after scoring just five in 2010-11. Paille last scored three goals in two games in 2008 for Buffalo during a stretch that saw him pot four goals in three games.

•Shawn Thornton skated in his 400th career NHL game. He earned some shifts on the second line and some late-game power-play minutes.

•NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan will have to look long and hard at Milan Lucic’s hit on Zac Rinaldo. My impression was it was from behind and could’ve been avoided, especially considering the lopsided nature of the game. I’ll guess a one- or two-game ban for Lucic.

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