The Montreal Canadiens overcame a potentially disastrous situation in their opening-round playoff game against the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.
Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for slashing Senators rookie Mark Stone on his right wrist in front of Montreal's net at the 8:23 mark of the second period.
The call ignited a chorus of boos from the home crowd, while also leaving Habs fans, players, and coaches shocked by the severity of the penalty.
Subban was also visibly upset.
Mark stone is back. PK's reaction: https://t.co/ZTkx13XNqT— @JayGold85
Ottawa didn't waste any time taking advantage of the five-minute power play, with a Kyle Turris wrist shot finding the back of the net.
In an increasingly intense and action-packed sequence, Montreal responded with a short-handed goal to regain the lead at 3-2, only to see the Senators knot the score by striking again during the same five-minute span.
Centre Brian Flynn then rescued Montreal with the eventual game-winning goal at 17:17 of the second as the Habs skated to a 4-3 win.
The call has sparked controversy and is sure to be a major talking point, especially after Stone returned to the bench following a brief trip to the dressing room.
Stone left the game again in the third period and went with the team doctor to have his wrist examined, but he returned minutes later.
Stone accused Subban of intentionally slashing him after the game.
"It's up to the league," Stone told reporters when asked if Subban should be suspended. "Obviously it was a pretty big hack. It looked like he wanted to hurt me."
Senators coach Dave Cameron offered a not-so-subtle take.
"I think it's quite simple — it's a vicious slash on an unprotected part of the body," he said. "You either do one of two things. I think it's an easy solution — you either suspend him, or when one of their best players gets slashed just give us five."