Ward: ‘It’s a joke’

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Aaron Ward didn’t think much of the NHL’s ruling yesterday. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

Aaron Ward, who is sporting a purple bruise under his left eye, spoke this morning for the first time since taking a punch from Scott Walker in the third period of Game 5.

“It’s a joke. It’s honestly a joke,” Ward said of the situation.

Ward, who will play tonight, said he was tussling with Matt Cullen prior to Walker’s punch. According to Ward, Cullen had slashed him across the legs. Ward was telling Cullen he didn’t like the slash when Walker came in with a punch. Ward said he didn’t see Walker and never exchanged any words with him.

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“I don’t remember a single word being said,” Ward said of the exchange between he and Walker. “I was looking at Matt Cullen. The moment I saw his right hand was when it was about a foot away from my face.”

Ward said a team doctor saw “something” on an X-ray and advised him to wear a shield.

“I haven’t worn one in 16 years,” Ward said. “I’m not going to start now.”

Ward said he never spoke with Colin Campbell about the incident.

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