Clean or dirty? Phaneuf's huge hit on Rust sparks debate

Ottawa Senators defenceman Dion Phaneuf raised the intensity early in Game 2 of the East final, laying a huge, and controversial, open-ice hit on Pittsburgh's Bryan Rust.

Pittsburgh forward forced to leave Game 2 after hit from Senators defenceman

Hip Check: Phaneuf lays devastating check on Rust, sparks debate over clean hits

6 years ago
Duration 0:25
Pittsburgh Penguins' Bryan Rust was forced out of Game 2 early after a huge open ice hit by Ottawa Senators' Dion Phaneuf in the first period.

There was a time when Dion Phaneuf's name was synonymous with bone-shaking hits.

On Monday night, that time returned.​

Phaneuf laid a thunderous open-ice hit on Bryan Rust early in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final.

Rust was slow to get up and was eventually taken to the Penguins dressing room. There was no call on the play and Rust did not return to the game. 

So was it a clean hit?

There were those who said yes.

And those who said no.

Penguins defenceman Justin Schultz also left the game after falling awkwardly into the boards after a hit from the Senators' Mike Hoffman.

It's just the latest in an injury-riddled post-season for the Penguins. Already down top defenceman Kris Letang, the team has also lost Sidney Crosby, Conor Sheary, Trevor Daley and Patric Hornqvist at various points in the playoffs.

And if Phaneuf wasn't already public enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh, his hit on Jake Guentzel later in Game 2 sealed the deal.

Guentzel, who leads the Penguins with nine playoff goals this season, stayed in the game after the hit.

Almost lost in the noise was Pittsburgh's 1-0 win that evened the best-of-seven series 1-1.

Game 3 is Wednesday in Ottawa.