BOSTON (CBS) — Bruins winger Nick Ritchie was assessed a penalty in the first period of Saturday’s Game 4 for avenging what he deemed to be a questionable hit by the opponent. In the second period, he threw a questionable hit of his own.
Ritchie delivered a hit on Lightning forward Yanni Gourde deep in the Tampa end, after Gourde had sent a pass into the neutral zone. The hit came from Gourde’s blind side, and it sent him flying into the boards. He remained down on the ice for several moments, before play stopped and trainers could tend to him.
Though the referees on the ice did not initially raise an arm to indicate a penalty had been committed, the officiating crew got on the headsets with the NHL and assessed a five-minute major penalty on Ritchie.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 29, 2020
Egregiously late hit by Nick Ritchie on Yanni Gourde, who is down and injured. Assessed a five minute major for boarding, but no game misconduct. Official deemed this did not result in an "injury to the face or head" of Gourde.. pic.twitter.com/GtafKqH5Xt
— NHL Safety Watch (@NHLSafetyWatch) August 29, 2020
After several moments down on the ice, Gourde was able to skate to the bench under his own power.
Gourde remained out for the remainder of the second period, but he returned to the bench for the third period.
The penalty was Ritchie’s second of the game. He was assessed a two-minute roughing minor for going after Cedric Paquette in the first period, after Paquette had delivered a hard hit on Karson Kuhlman.
The Lightning scored on the resulting five-minute power play, with a Victor Hedman blast deflecting off a Bruins player to give Tampa a 3-0 lead late in the second period.
UPDATE: Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy adamantly disagreed with the penalty call. You can read his full comments here.