Boston Bruins

Bruins' Charlie McAvoy ejected for hit to head of Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Boston's No. 1 defenseman was given a match penalty.

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The Boston Bruins were forced to finish Monday night's game against the Florida Panthers with only four defensemen.

After losing Matt Grzelcyk to an upper-body injury earlier in the game, top defenseman Charlie McAvoy was ejected in the third period for hitting Panthers blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the head. McAvoy collided with Ekman-Larsson in front of Boston's net, and the puck wasn't anywhere near the incident. The principal point of contact also appeared to be Ekman-Larsson's head.

McAvoy was given a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head.

Here's a replay of the hit:

The Bruins successfully killed off the five-minute penalty and forced overtime, where Pavel Zacha scored the winning goal for Boston in a 3-2 victory.

It's possible McAvoy could face further discipline for this hit. The NHL's Department of Player Safety could fine or suspend the B's star. McAvoy has been suspended only once in his career. It was a one-game ban in the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Bruins' next game is Thursday night when they host the rival Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.

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