At 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, Zdeno Chara is an imposing figure, someone who has a big shot from the point, and is the cornerstone of Boston's defense.

In other words, he is to the Bruins what 6-6, 210-pound Chris Pronger is to the Flyers.

The towering defensemen will play key roles in the Eastern Conference semifinals, which start Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Pronger is rounding into form after missing about six weeks because of a broken right hand. He played just two games against the Bruins this season and was scoreless with a minus-1 rating.

Chara had a goal, an assist, and a plus-3 rating in four games against the Flyers.

"He's extremely strong," Flyers captain Mike Richards said after Thursday's practice in Voorhees. "He makes it tough to go around the corners."

Richards said Chara has "great hockey sense. He finishes his checks and plays strong. For us to have success, we are going to have to lay the puck in behind him and make a move and make his life back there a little difficult."

"It was kind of the same way with [Tyler] Myers with Buffalo," said Danny Briere, referring to the 6-8, 222-pound defender, "but you have to find ways to make him work. It is not going to be easy, and we know that."

In last year's playoff matchup, Pronger had two goals and four assists against the Bruins, while Chara had no goals and four assists against the Flyers. Each was plus-2 in the series.