Ference will sit for three games
PHILADELPHIA - Just an hour before yesterday’s game, the Bruins received the news that most were expecting: Andrew Ference would not be suiting up.
Ference was suspended for three games because of his charging major in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Rangers. At 1:50 of overtime, Ference ran into Ryan McDonagh, sending the New York defenseman facefirst into the end boards. McDonagh didn’t return after the hit. The Rangers scored the winning goal on the five-minute power play when Marian Gaborik beat Tuukka Rask with 3.6 seconds remaining.
Ference had a phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan yesterday morning. Shanahan ruled that while Ference was called for charging, he should have been penalized for boarding under Rule 41. The rule, rewritten prior to the start of the season, penalizes players whose hits result in opponents striking the boards violently or dangerously.
“While we would agree with Ference’s assertion that there was no malicious intent, this nevertheless is a reckless shove from behind that causes a dangerous collision with the boards,’’ Shanahan said in his video explaining the suspension. “It is a textbook example of the boarding rule that was rewritten for this season to include pushes or shoves and reflects the emphasis on impact with the boards.’’
Ference had scored a goal in each of his last two games. He also assisted on Adam McQuaid’s second-period goal Saturday. Ference had been skating on the third pairing alongside McQuaid. In 43 games, Ference has scored four goals and 16 assists while averaging 18:29 of ice time.
“The onus is on Ference to avoid this kind of hit completely,’’ said Shanahan.
Ference is now considered a repeat offender. While he was happy to hear McDonagh wasn’t injured, he didn’t care to disclose his thoughts about missing three games.
“I think it’s probably best reserved for friends and family,’’ said Ference when asked about the suspension’s length. “It doesn’t serve much purpose for me to dole it out right here. The process happens. They come up with that. So be it. I’ll deal with it.’’
Ference will forfeit $36,486.48 in game pay.
Kampfer back in
With Ference unavailable, Steven Kampfer played for the first time since Dec. 14. He skated only six shifts for 3:15 of ice time, partly because of the wallop he absorbed in the second.
As Kampfer skated around the net, Brayden Schenn hammered him with a clean but violent hit. Kampfer, who has a concussion history, remained down for several moments before skating to the locker room.
Kampfer returned later in the second; coach Claude Julien said Kampfer had the wind knocked out of him.
With Ference unavailable, Chris Kelly was the second alternate captain. Ference had been scheduled to wear the second “A’’ during road games in the second half of the season . . . The Flyers were without Chris Pronger (concussion), Danny Briere (concussion), James van Riemsdyk (concussion), Jaromir Jagr (groin), and Zac Rinaldo (upper body). Claude Giroux, Matt Read, and Schenn also have missed time for the Flyers because of concussions . . . After the game, the Bruins traveled to Washington by charter train. They will meet with President Obama at the White House this afternoon. “I think it’s an honor to be a guest of President Obama,’’ Julien said. “He’s greeting us there as Stanley Cup champions. I think it’s a great opportunity. We’re looking forward to it.’’