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Rielly ejected for levelling Greig after empty-netter


Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly was ejected in the dying seconds of his team's 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

With the Maple Leafs down a goal at the end of the third period, Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig found himself in alone on an empty Toronto net and took a slapshot from just before the crease to cement the victory.

Rielly took exception to Greig's shot and levelled him into the boards, causing a melee to erupt in the dying seconds. The 29-year-old defenceman received a a five-minute cross-checking major and a game misconduct for his actions.

Head coach Sheldon Keefe had Rielly's back after the game.

“I thought it was appropriate,” Keefe said, later adding “Our players have the right to react.”

“That was a stupid thing to do there by their guy at the end,” Leafs goalie Martin Jones said of Greig's slapshot. 

"You never really know what [Greig] is going to do. I loved it but I’m sure if we were on the other side of that we wouldn’t have liked it either. But I didn’t like the retaliation but I understand their frustration. It’s over with and I guess it was entertaining," Senators forward Josh Norris said.

Rielly has never been suspended in his 11-season NHL career and leads Maple Leaf defencemen with seven goals and 43 points in 50 games.

The 6-foot-1 defenceman played in his first NHL All-Star Game earlier in February.