Zdeno Chara will not face further discipline for his hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty on Tuesday night, the National Hockey League announced Wednesday afternoon.
"I conducted a hearing with Boston Bruins' defenceman Zdeno Chara with respect to the major penalty for interference and game misconduct that he was assessed at 19:44 of the second period for a hit on Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens," NHL vice-president of hockey operations Mike Murphy said in a statement.
"After a thorough review of the video I can find no basis to impose supplemental discipline. This hit resulted from a play that evolved and then happened very quickly -- with both players skating in the same direction and with Chara attempting to angle his opponent into the boards," continued Murphy. "I could not find any evidence to suggest that, beyond this being a correct call for interference, that Chara targeted the head of his opponent, left his feet or delivered the check in any other manner that could be deemed to be dangerous.
"This was a hockey play that resulted in an injury because of the player colliding with the stanchion and then the ice surface. In reviewing this play, I also took into consideration that Chara has not been involved in a supplemental discipline incident during his 13-year NHL career."
Pacioretty, a winger from New Canaan, Conn., was trying to get past Chara when he was hit hard and went head-first into the glass partition between the benches with seconds left in the second period.
He lay motionless for several minutes and had his eyes closed as he was lifted onto a stretcher and taken off the ice.
On Wednesday, head coach Jacques Martin said Pacioretty suffered a severe concussion and a fractured vertebrae.
Chara was given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct.
"We were racing for the puck and battling for position," Chara said following the game. "As the puck went by, obviously I was riding him out and it was very unfortunate that at the same time when I pushed him a little bit, he kind of leaned and jumped a little bit and just hit the glass extension.
"Obviously it wasn't my intention to push him into the partition. Things happen fast. That's not my style. I play hard, physical, but I never try to hurt someone. I hope he's OK."
It was the second incident between the two team's this season. After Pacioretty scored in overtime against the Bruins on Jan. 8, he inexplicably gave Chara a little shove that touched off a minor melee.
Things boiled over between the clubs when the Canadiens visited Boston on Feb. 9, as the Bruins looked to use their superior size to intimidate Montreal and ended up winning a wild 8-6 game in which 187 minutes in penalties were called.