Zdeno Chara set a record by playing his 1,652nd career NHL game on Thursday night. That is the most by any NHL defenseman, as he passed Chris Chelios on that list. How did the 44-year-old celebrate this accomplishment? He would go on to fight San Jose Sharks forward Jeffrey Viel.

Even at his age, Chara is still an incredibly skilled fighter and landed several hard punches on Viel. Although the expected result of a Chara win came to fruition, one has to praise the 25-year-old rookie for taking on the 6-foot-9 defenseman. 

Both of these players have been racking up the penalty minutes this season due to their physical style of play, too. In 44 games on the year, Chara already has 73 penalty minutes – his most since the 2015-16 campaign with the Boston Bruins. Yet, Viel has been even more rambunctious, as he has 69 penalty minutes in just 17 contests this year. 

At the end of this fight, Chara also tapped Viel’s helmet as a sign of respect. That was a nice move by the veteran. 

Photo Credit: © Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

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