The play from Zdeno Chara was simple, but the repercussions were huge.

In overtime, Derick Brassard raced down the ice on the 3-on-2 and immediately looked to get the puck to Rick Nash. But as soon as the puck left his stick, Chara — using his entire 6-foot-9 frame — reached down and poked it away.

The puck slid to Brad Marchand, who tipped ahead to Patrice Bergeron and then raced forward to start a 2-on-1 that ended with Marchand’s game-winning goal.

As the Bruins came away with the 3-2 Game 1 overtime win over the Rangers last night, no player was more important than Chara. The defenseman filled up the stat sheet by scoring, leading the team in shots (nine), playing the most minutes — and coming away with one huge poke check.

“We seem to talk about this guy almost every time because of what he is, and I think tonight was one of those things where the little details make a big difference in a game,” coach Claude Julien said. “And that poke-check that he made, at the right time, to give us an opportunity to come back and score was huge.”

Chara’s impact has been felt all through the playoffs. His 10 points (two goals, eight assists) have him tied for third in playoff scoring, and last night he gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the second.

He collected the puck from David Krejci at the point and unloaded a knuckler on Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers goalie looked like he made the initial save, but the puck trickled through his pads and into the net at 12:23.