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‘I’m not trying to hit him up high,’ says Liles of elbow on Kucherov

John-Michael Liles offered his side of the story for an elbow to the head of Nikita Kucherov on Tuesday.

Liles, the Bruins’ recently acquired defenseman, caught Kucherov with an elbow as the Tampa Bay Lightning forward was crossing over the Boston blue line with the puck.

There was no call on the play and Kucherov remained in the game.

“I didn’t think I came up high with it. I thought I just tried to step into him. I don’t know if he was falling or if he ducked. Obviously he was down for a while. I didn’t see a replay on it so I’m not really sure,” said Liles, as per video from Joe Haggerty of

“I’m not trying to hit him up high. Most guys, I can’t even reach their heads. Just trying to do my job at the blue line, to step up and just get a piece of him. I didn’t think my elbow came up high at all.”

The Bruins earned a 1-0 overtime victory, moving into a tie with Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division at 83 points.

Brad Marchand scored 10 seconds into the extra period for his 34th goal of the season.