BOSTON -- Charlie McAvoy got lit up by Pittsburgh's sandpaper forward, Patrick Hornqvist, during a nasty, physical game between the Bruins and Penguins on Thursday night, but Hornqvist won’t be facing any supplemental discipline as a result of it, per a source.
McAvoy was drilled up high in the first period of the Bruins' 8-4 win as he had his head down looking to collect a puck, and ended up with a nasty bloodied nose after his visor came down and cut him. No penalty was called on the play and there shouldn’t have been, according to the letter of the law (Rule 48.1 in the Physical Fouls Section of the rulebook). It was deemed that “head contact on an otherwise full body check was unavoidable."
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McAvoy had his head hunched down as Hornqvist veered in for a shoulder hit to his chest. The 20-year-old defenseman admitted as much following the game, and was missing from Friday’s Bruins practice with a maintenance day after absorbing the hit.
"He got me . . . he tagged me pretty good,” said McAvoy when asked about the hit after the game. “So that’s on me. I need to put myself in a better position to make sure I’m not taking hits like those. But it kind of opened the door for a physical game, and we have a lot of guys on our team that don’t mind going to that side. We’ve got a lot of guys on this team that had my back, and I appreciate that.”
To McAvoy’s point, the rookie defenseman went after Hornqvist in the second period, and David Backes drilled Hornqvist with a massive hit in front of the Pittsburgh bench in the closing seconds of the B’s victory. That’s above and beyond Zdeno Chara confronting Hornqvist and them dropping the gloves with 6-foot-7 Jamie Oleksiak in the second period after a mammoth three-minute shift on the ice. All of those were great signs from the Bruins, who stood up for their young teammate, and from McAvoy, who stood up for himself as well.