- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
- 0 Shares
MONTREAL -- Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for his hit on Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jaroslav Spacek at 4:37 of the second period in Game 6 at Bell Centre on Tuesday.
Spacek had control of the puck in front of the penalty box area when he quickly got rid of it just as Lucic applied the hit that knocked Spacek to the ice. He remained on the ice for a few minutes and needed to be attended to by a team trainer. He was able to skate off on his own, but was bleeding from the head. He later returned to the Canadiens' bench
Only seconds into the five-minute advantage, the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron was called for delay of game when he shot the puck into the stands. Montreal capitalized to take a 2-1 lead on Brian Gionta's power-play goal at 5:48. The Bruins were able to kill off the remainder of the major penalty, but the Canadians still won 2-1 to force a Game 7.
Following the game, Lucic was unavailable and Bruins players seemed to be under a gag order as many said they didn't see it. Boston head coach Claude Julien was biting his tongue as well.
"Well, I'm not going to comment on it and simply not for not getting any information, but I haven't had any chance to really look at it closely," Julien said. "And you see quick replays here and there but it's something that I need to see here before I'm able to comment on that."
When asked what the referees saw on the play, Julien said: "I have no idea. Like I said, I haven't had a chance to look at it. I don't even know how they are seeing it. Again, I think the five-minute was because he was cut, not because of the hit necessarily, but because of the cut. So the hit caused a cut, and that's the way it is. But again, I can't comment on much of that stuff because I've only seen it quickly. The last thing you want to do is make a bad comment on something that you haven't had the chance to look at closely.
"A five-minute is an automatic game misconduct in that case," Julien added. "That's what I was told. He had to give him a five and a game because the guy was cut. Well, as they say, don't shoot the messenger."
The Bruins bench boss had no inclination on whether Lucic would be suspended for Game 7 in Boston on Wednesday night except to say he had faith in the NHL that the right decision would be made.
"I trust the league and the people doing the job to make the right decisions," Julien said. "And that's the way I've always been. ... I don't want to complain about refereeing. They have a tough job and that's always been the case. And people making those decisions have a tough job and the least I can do as a coach is support them."
One positive Lucic has going for him is that the rugged winger was called for a game misconduct only once and received just one boarding major in the 2010-11 regular season. Also, Flyers forward Mike Richards did not receive a suspension for his hit from behind on Sabres center Tim Connolly in Game 6 of the series that the Flyers won in seven games. But Connolly received only a two-minute minor on the play.
In the Habs' dressing room, forward Mike Cammalleri -- who had a goal and assist in Game 6 -- said he was happy the call on Lucic was made and felt it went with the NHL's recent efforts to clamp down on dangerous hits.
On whether he thinks a suspension is in order, Cammalleri said: "I'm not going to voice an opinion on that, I don't think it's fair based on where we are and what we're doing here. I'm sure the league will handle it well. What I will say is that I think the league is trending in the right direction and they've done a good job taking it seriously and not being ignorant to some of these vulnerable hits we can clean up in our game. Our game's exciting and fast, we don't need some of these vulnerable hits."
Montreal head coach Jacques Martin also agreed with the call.
"Well, it's the right call," Martin said. "The referees made the call and that was the situation."
The two teams have a history of bad blood, most recently exemplified by Boston captain Zdeno Chara's hit on Max Pacioretty in a game in Montreal during the regular season. The Canadiens forward sustained a concussion and a cracked vertebra.
James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Information from ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald and The Associated Press was used in this report.