By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — From the very moment he stepped onto NHL ice as a 19-year-old rookie, Milan Lucic has undeniably been at least one thing: tough. He’s never been scared to drop the gloves, and he’s proven rather adept at throwing around his 6-foot-4-inch, 220-pound body.

So if you’re crazy enough to want to try upset Lucic, the best way to do it may be to accuse him of diving.

That, Lucic said, is what happened Saturday afternoon in the third period of a 2-2 game against the Lightning. Lucic was crashing the net after Tampa Bay netminder Mathieu Garon covered a puck, and defenseman Brendan Mikkelson tried to lift Lucic’s stick. Mikkelson missed Lucic’s stick and instead whacked the forward in the face with his stick blade. Lucic immediately fell to the ice, crashing into Garon in the process, before laying on the ice in pain for about 20 seconds.

When Lucic got up, he appeared to be steaming mad, but not at Mikkelson. Instead, he got into a shouting match with rookie forward Cory Conacher. It’s noteworthy that Conacher got into a shouting match with Brad Marchand when these two teams met in Tampa last week, and he yapped enough to draw a roughing penalty on Zdeno Chara, who bopped Conacher in the face with a couple of quick jabs.

This verbal battle between Conacher and Lucic didn’t turn physical, thanks to a linesman and referee stepping in, and the Bruins would go on to score the four-minute power play that ensued.

After the victory, Lucic shed some light on what happened.

“Well, I mean, one of their players made a comment about me diving, and I didn’t like that at all. He knows who he is,” Lucic said without referencing anyone by name. “He knows who he is. I’m glad that we were able to beat them where it hurts the most.”

Lucic very clearly was not embellishing on the play, and he had a still-bloody chin in the locker room to prove it.

“I definitely felt that one pretty badly,” Lucic said.

Read more from Michael by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.


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