With mere seconds left in the second period during Tuesday evening's Boston Bruins 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara sent Canadiens left winger Max Pacioretty hard into the boards. Pacioretty hit the turnbuckle part of the side boards, which mark the end of the glass at the beginning of a bench, which knocked him unconsious. Pacioretty had to be stretchered off the Bell Centre ice, and rushed to a local hospital via ambulance.
Post-game, Chara denied that he hit Pacioretty with intent to injure, according to a WEEI report:
"Obviously, that wasn't my intention to push him into the post...It's very unfortunate. In that situation, everything's happening fast, and you're not planning to do that. That's not my style to hurt somebody. I always play hard, play physical, but I never try to hurt anybody. I'm hoping he's OK."
Pacioretty has a seemingly long road to recovery, as reports out of Montreal say that he suffered a serious concussion and a fracture of the fourth cervical vertebrae. The Connecticut native will remain hospitalized for the time being.
As for Chara, he received a game misconduct, thus tossed from Tuesday night's game. He was scheduled for a mid-day conference call with NHL disciplinary officials. The conference call may be an indicator of the sanction's severity, as officials normally speak with players via phone for suspensions of up to 5 games.