MONTREAL — Canadiens center Phillip Danault was awake and moving after taking Zdeno Chara’s slap shot to the head. Considering how hard Chara can shoot, many at the silent Bell Centre feared it might have been much worse.
Danault was hospitalized after a frightening play in Montreal’s 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, a game that ended with Brad Marchand’s goal in the fourth round of a shootout.
Danault was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was hit in the head by Chara’s shot — the 6-foot-9 defenseman didn’t wind up fully for the one-timer. The 24-year-old Danault was moving and speaking to medical staff before he departed to an ovation from the Bell Centre crowd.
Canadiens coach Claude Julien said after the game that Danault would remain in a hospital overnight and would be re-evaluated Sunday.
“You never want to see that,” Julien said. “Regardless if it’s your own team or the other team, no one wants to see injuries like that.
“They always make you worry. The players are still worried about him, but the reports are good so far.”
The Canadiens announced on Sunday that Danault was released from the hospital and returned home
Chara and other players from both teams gathered around Danault while he was down. As Danault was leaving the ice, Chara went over and said something to him.
“I wanted to make sure he was OK,” Chara said. “He was talking to me and responding so that made me feel better that he’s OK and he’s not in a condition where he’s not responding. So I was glad that he was doing OK.”
Officials opted to play the final 1:37 of the second after intermission.
Marchand also scored in regulation, helping the Bruins improve to 9-0-3 in their last 12 games. Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci had the other goals for Boston, and Tuukka Rask made 27 saves.
“It’s different, but this was just another game,” said Marchand, who also scored in regulation. “We did a good job and look forward to the next one.”
Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty and Nicolas Deslauriers scored for Montreal, and Carey Price had 29 stops. It was Galchenyuk’s 100th career goal.
Claude Julien coached against Boston for the first time since he was fired by the Bruins last February and hired by the Canadiens a week later.
Montreal jumped in front 3:22 into the first when Pacioretty scored for the third straight game. Victor Mete, playing his first game back after helping Canada win world junior championship gold, picked up an assist when the rebound of his point shot was tucked inside the post by the captain of the Canadiens.
Marchand responded with a power-play goal at 17:11. He was left alone in front to take a feed from Patrice Bergeron and score his 18th of the season.
DeBrusk was sent in alone by Charlie McAvoy to beat Price with a high shot 2:55 into the second. Deslauriers picked up a loose puck at the Boston blue line and beat Rask with a low shot from the slot at 5:45.
Galchenyuk put the Canadiens in front again with a power-play wrist shot under the crossbar at 8:51. It was his 11th goal of the season.
But the Bruins tied it again with 2:18 left in the second. Jakub Jerabek swiped at and missed a bouncing puck and Krejci pounced on it and beat Price from close range.
NOTES: Boston outshot Montreal 29-25 in regulation time and 32-30 overall.
Bruins: Host Dallas on Monday.
Canadiens: Host the New York Islanders on Monday.