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NHL looking into bench scrum during Tuesday's Lightning-Flyers game



The NHL office has been looking into the scrum that started by the Lightning bench in the second period of Tuesday's game with the Flyers.

That's not a surprise as the league reviews every game, especially out of the ordinary incidents, which this indeed was.

It occurred with about 12 minutes left in the second period, during a television timeout. Flyers wing Scott Hartnell was by the Lightning bench while coach Guy Boucher was talking to his players, using his dry erase board. Television replays caught a part where Hartnell was waving his stick high around the Tampa Bay players.

Hartnell told the Philadelphia Daily News Wednesday that the whole situation was sparked by Boucher, and claimed Steve Downie and Ryan Malone speared him from the bench.

"I was there at the TV timeout, on the left wing, and I was right in front of the bench,'' Hartnell told the Daily News. "Their coach looked up and started yapping at me. I was just sitting there, not doing anything. Then, two guys started slashing me from the bench. I just kind of pushed their sticks out of the way. I ended up getting 10 minutes for really nothing. I've never seen a coach start yelling at an opposing player from the bench for just standing there.

"(Downie) was the one who speared me. Then Malone speared me. Then Malone jumped off the bench''

Both Hartnell and Lightning wing Ryan Malone were assessed 10 minute misconduct penalties. It's possible they could be disciplined by the league, but most likely, if so, it'd be a fine or warning.

Hartnell said he was positioned on the faceoff dot, waiting for the next play when the melee started. But Boucher had a very different take.

"He was close enough that he could have been on the faceoff dot on my (dray erase) board," Boucher said.

Malone didn't say much on the matter either, being coy with reporters while joking Tuesday night the whole incident reminded him of something from the movies Slap Shot and Youngblood.

On Wednesday morning, Malone appeared to make it seem like it was much to do about nothing.

"He was close to our bench, I told him to move away, he said 'No,'" Malone said. "So I pushed him and the refs said they really didn't see what happened so they gave us both penalties."

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 4:39pm]


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