By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Everybody knows what comes around once the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin: incredible goals, big hits, flashy saves, and … neck licks?

No, you never do know what will happen in the midst of a heated playoff game, and Brad Marchand proved that on Thursday evening at the TD Garden. In the second period, Marchand was battling for the puck against Leo Komarov in front of the Toronto bench. After the puck had left the area, Komarov offered the gentlest of cross-checks to end the small skirmish.

Marchand responded in kind by … perhaps, maybe licking Komarov’s neck? If he didn’t lick, he certainly got a bit mouthy on Komarov’s neck.

See for yourself:

That is some deep canoodling. You don’t see that every night in the National Hockey League. You just don’t. (Though, to be fair, it’s not the first amorous playoff moment in recent Bruins history. Steve Downie and Andrew Ference went face-to-face and nearly lip-to-lip seven years ago.)

After the game, which the Bruins won 5-1, Marchand was asked, “Hey, so uhh … what’s that all about?

“I thought he wanted to cuddle. I just wanted to get close to him,” Marchand said. “He keeps trying to get close to me. I don’t know if he’s got a thing for me or what. But he’s cute.”

Asked for a follow-up, Marchand admitted his intentions.

“I was trying to get into his head,” Marchand said. “He kept coming after me after whistles and stuff like that every time he was going to the bench. I just thought that if he wanted to keep touching me and that we were going to get a little closer, then he might want to.”

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that Marchand and Komarov have gotten intimate on the ice. Back in November, Marchand offered a peck on the cheek to Komarov after a whistle stopped play.

Marchand scored the Bruins’ opening goal in Thursday night’s Game 1 win, but it was that play at center ice that will likely stick with Komarov a bit longer.

For his part, Komarov didn’t have too much to say about the matter.

“Honestly I don’t really know what happened,” Komarov said. “It doesn’t really matter either. It’s a new game on Saturday and we go from there.”

When the previous smooch took place, Komarov had a bit more of an expansive response.

“Yeah, I told him I have a wife and a baby, so I can’t do it right now,” Komarov said back in November. “It is what it is, right? I kind of liked it.”

Credit to Marchand for his persistence. We’ll have to wait and see if he brings any roses to the rink on Saturday night.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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