It was at the end of his brief media availability and he didn't expound on the exchange, but Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said that he has spoken to the Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty.

"I did. We talked," Chara said yesterday before the figurative curtain came down on his give-and-take with the media at Ristuccia Arena.

It was the first contact Chara has had with Pacioretty since the defenseman drove the Montreal forward into a Bell Centre stanchion on March 8, a hit that has helped to make the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series between the Bruins and Canadiens perhaps the most anticipated of the postseason. As of now, Pacioretty (concussion, fractured vertebra) is not expected to play in the series, though he has begun skating.

Chara is anxious to get the series under way.

"It's very exciting and this is what we all play for," said Chara, who has elevated his game to a Norris Trophy-caliber level since the Pacioretty hit.

Monday's Game 3 will be the B's first visit to Montreal since the hit. Chara will be the target of some serious invective when he gets there, but that's nothing new.

"It's been like that for years and really it's not going to be any different," Chara said. "We all have to just focus on the game and the playoffs.