Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara sent Montreal's Max Pacioretty into the boards with 16 seconds left in the second period of the Canadiens' 4-1 victory over the Bruins on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
Chara was assessed a five-minute major for the hit, which forced Pacioretty to leave the game on a stretcher. Following the game, Chara said that the he was not a dirty player and did not mean to hurt Pacioretty.
"Obviously, that wasn't my intention to push him into the post," Chara told reporters following the game. "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."
Bruins head coach Claude Julien also defended Chara, reaffirming the fact that he is not a dirty player.
"I think what people have to understand is Zdeno is not a dirty player," Bruins coach Claude Julien said in his NESN postgame interview with Naoko Funayama. "He certainly never meant for that to happen. I think if anything he tried to rub him out in the boards. Unfortunately it's the partition that did the damage. If it's anywhere else on the ice, it might be a normal interference call at worst. Unfortunately he hit the partition. That's something that' we've [seen] happen often. I know there's padding there and we've tried to rectify that as far as helping guys not get hie in that area, but it still continues to happen."