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Bruins D McAvoy to have hearing for hit on Ekman-Larsson


Boston Bruins defenceman Charlie McAvoy will have a hearing Tuesday for an illegal check to the head/interference on Florida Panthers defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson

The hearing will take place over the phone, meaning McAvoy's suspension will be five games or less. 

McAvoy received a match penalty for the hit on Monday, which came in the third period with the game tied 1-1. The Bruins defenceman caught Ekman-Larsson's head with his shoulder in front of the Panthers net more than a second after Ekman-Larsson had played the puck.

The Bruins killed off the five-minute major, eventually earning a 3-2 overtime win to improve to 8-0-1 this season. Ekman-Larsson did not return to the game following the hit.

“I really haven’t seen it that well, saw it quickly on the (scoreboard),” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said post-game. “Obviously the refs made the call and if it was five minutes, it’s five minutes so it was dirty. I don’t know. I didn’t really see it, so I can’t comment on it.”

Panthers coach Paul Maurice did not comment on the play, beyond stating that he believed McAvoy attempted a similar hit earlier in the game.

"I thought it was exactly like the hit on (Carter) Verhaeghe in the first," Maurice said.

McAvoy's lone career suspension came in the 2019 playoffs when he received a one-game ban for a hit to the head of then-Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson. He is not considered a repeat offender.

The 25-year-old blueliner has two goals and eight points in nine games this season for the Bruins. 

“I saw it live,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said of McAvoy’s hit. “I haven’t looked at it in depth. The league reviews all those hits and they’ll let us know what their thoughts are, and we respect how the league goes about it. I think they do a real good process there.”

The Bruins will next play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.