BOSTON — The joy of the Boston Bruins’ 5-1 win over Montreal in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series tonight at TD Banknorth Garden was tempered a bit by a late-game hit Milan Lucic made on Canadiens agitator Maxim Lapierre with 4:32 left in the game.
Lapierre skated at Lucic in front of the Montreal goal after Lucic and Habs defenseman Mathieu Schneider exchanged pleasantries. You can see the hit in the clip below, but Lucic seemed to catch Lapierre in the head with either his glove or his stick. Either way, he is definitely still holding his stick when he hits him. And what was originally announced as a fighting penalty was changed to a match penalty. That means Lucic is suspended upon review.
While Lucic was unavailable to the media after the game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien defended his player.
“I think in Looch’s situation, obviously he might’ve lost his composure a little bit in that area. But what you’ve got to remember is he got elbowed in the head and then high sticked by Schneider. And then Lapierre comes in — Lapierre, who’s been an instigator throughout the whole series and even during the regular season. And what Looch did is react to him coming at him. It wasn’t premeditated and in reviewing it, he hit him with his glove. He had his stick in his hands, but the glove hit the helmet,” said Julien. (more…)