BUFFALO — The Bruins could have finished Buffalo’s season with one more victory. Instead, the Bruins played their worst game of the series and were punished for it. Game 6 will be on Monday at TD Garden.
“I thought they came out quite determined,” Matt Hunwick said. “I thought we were sluggish to start. In the third period, we came out and played well. But it was too little, too late.”
At the end of the third, Zdeno Chara, slashed on the back of the leg by Paul Gaustad, went after the Buffalo forward and threw several punches to spark an all-out scrum. Chara was given an instigator, fighting, and game misconduct.
“It’s a serious risk of an instigator when you come in throwing punches,” said Lindy Ruff. “They’ve got to take a hard look at that. Anything in the last five minutes is stupid to do. I like the fact that we had one grab him around the knees, one guy grab him around the waist, and another guy grab him around the neck. And the big man went down. You get in a situation like that, everybody knows the rules. You can’t start slugging people. That’s exactly what Chara was doing. Our response was good to that play.”
Claude Julien reiterated that Gaustad slashed Chara to provoke the fight.
“I’m sure if you look at the way the series has gone, we’ll be blamed for starting it,” Julien said. “We’re used to it. It’s not a big deal. I know that I saw Chara get slashed behind the leg. It must be our fault, I’m sure. This is playoff intensity. This is the way it goes. You turn the page and move on.”