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Flyers’ Rinaldo: ‘I changed the whole game, man’

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: Zac Rinaldo #36 of the Philadelphia Flyers warms up before the game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on December 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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Zac Rinaldo could be facing supplemental discipline from the National Hockey League for leaving his feet to hit Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and getting tossed from Tuesday’s game as a result.

But the Flyers forward sees that moment as a defining moment in what was a heated, emotional and physical battle between two fierce rivals.

“I changed the whole game, man. Who knows what woulda happened if I didn’t do what I did?” Rinaldo remarked to reporters, according to Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post.

I hit him in the back of the shoulder. The power of my hit made his head hit the glass. I didn’t hit him from behind,” he went on to add, as per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The incident occurred in the first period, and Rinaldo was ejected after receiving a boarding major. The bad blood spilled over into the second period, with both teams engaging in a total of four fights.

Letang never returned to the game. The Penguins, having been penalized twice in overtime, eventually gave up the winning power play goal to the Flyers, who took this game 3-2.

According to Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review, Letang had been given a concussion test.

“This doesn’t mean it is a concussion. We’ll see tomorrow,” said Penguins coach Mike Johnston, as per Yohe.

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