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Controversy in Game 5 after Kotkaniemi is ejected for running Sanheim from behind

Oof... this is ugly.

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Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi has been issued a five minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim early in the 2nd period of Game 5 this evening.

Kotkaniemi lined up Sanheim along the side boards and didn't appear to let up on Sanheim, hitting him directly in the numbers and sending him crashing into the boards and glass. Still... while it sounds bad, it certainly didn't appear to warrant a major penalty.

Here's the hit in question:


Hmm... that's certainly a boarding call. But... a five minute major? I dunno about that...

Interestingly enough, the on-ice officials stopped the game momentarily to review the hit to see if it was worth "downgrading" it from a major penalty to a two minute minor penalty. Call it the "Joe Pavelski Rule", a holdover from last season's Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks first round Game 7.

Remember this?


To make matters worse the Flyers have pulled even with a powerplay equalizer courtesy of Jakub Voracek.

Check it out:


Ouch... that's a tough pill to swallow.

It gets worse...

Voracek potted yet another PP goal on the major, to pull the Flyers ahead 2-1.

Check it out:

Ouch. Could be one of those nights, Habs fans...


UPDATE: 3-2 Habs! Talk about perserverance!