Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said yesterday that he was happy Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty was on the road to recovery.

It was initially speculated that Pacioretty would be lost for the season after Chara hit him into a Bell Centre stanchion on March 8. The Canadiens reported that Pacioretty had a nondisplaced fracture in his neck as well as a severe concussion. But now it's believed that Pacioretty could be ready in time for the playoffs.

"Obviously, I'm glad that he's doing much better and that he'll be playing, based on the reports and what we heard," Chara said. "I'm glad that he's going to be fine. That's good news."

Chara said he's tried to reach out to Pacioretty a couple of times but hasn't had any luck making a connection.

"I've made a few attempts and I'm waiting to hear back," Chara said. "But so far, nothing."

Chara has been villified in Montreal for the hit. The defenseman was asked what he thought of people who believe he tried to hurt Pacioretty.

"It's tough to even address that," Chara said. "It's one of those things where they probably believe one thing and it's really hard to explain that it just happened. It was a really bad accident and unfortunately a very bad one. Even with rivalries, I don't think anyone's trying to hurt anybody or do something to harm anybody. Sometimes these parts of the game — the extensions, the nets, the doors and all those things — they are in the way and it's very unfortunate that we run into them.

"I can't control what they talk about me or say about me. I just have to focus on my game."

Did he think the Canadiens would be out for retribution when the two teams play tonight in their first meeting since the hit?