PITTSBURGH — For now, Lightning star Steven Stamkos is willing to chalk up what happened in Monday's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal to the heat of the battle.
Asked Tuesday about coach Guy Boucher's statement after Tampa Bay's 4-2 victory that he saw Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik try to poke or gouge Stamkos' eyes during a third-period scrum, Stamkos said, "I'm not going to comment on that stuff right now."
"I'm focused on Game 7," he said. "Whatever happens on the ice happens. You pay the price and take stuff in the playoffs. Right now we're just focused on the game."
Boucher says the eye-gouging occurred 5:26 into the third period during a multiplayer confrontation in front of the Penguins net. No penalty was called in connection to his allegation.
Orpik was not available for comment Tuesday.
Stamkos acknowledged he was extremely upset at the time. "I was able to compose myself afterwards. It's something I've learned, to control your emotions especially in the playoffs. In the heat of the battle, you get (mad) sometimes on the ice. As long as you can regroup and focus."
General manager Steve Yzerman would not say if he spoke to the league and also seemed ready to change the subject. "If the league thinks there is any wrongdoing or anyone crossed the line, they'll deal with it," he said. "I can just say there are a lot of things that cross the line both physically and verbally in the course of a preseason game, a regular-season game and a playoff game, so we move on."