The Bruins were left shorthanded for four minutes on Sunday, and they lost one of their best players for an additional 10 minutes as well, but head coach Claude Julien had no problem with the situation.
Having the league’s top-ranked penalty kill may have something to do with that, though.
Milan Lucic was given a double-minor Sunday for retaliating against what he thought was a dirty hit from Florida’s Mike Weaver. The big Bruins forward then compounded that by taking a 10-minute misconduct penalty for, presumably, running his mouth in the penalty box.
Luckily for the Bruins, they were able to kill off the penalty and withstand Lucic’s absence for a good chunk of the third period on their way to a 4-1 win over the Panthers. After the game, Julien said he took no issue with Lucic’s actions, even if they did put the team in a precarious position.
“When I looked at [the Weaver hit] between periods, it appeared to be a cross-check,” Julien told reporters, according to The Boston Globe. “And [Lucic] wasn’t quite close to the boards. We felt there maybe could have been an original call and we could have been on the power play versus being down for four minutes. That’s Milan showing his character. We like him for what he is. He just reacted to what he thought was a dangerous play for him. I’ll accept that. So will the team. As you saw, we made sure we killed that off.”
The Bruins used their top-ranked penalty kill to do just that. They even came close to scoring on the kill, but Rich Peverley was denied by Jacob Markstrom on a breakaway in which the Boston forward was all alone.
Lucic didn’t speak with the media following the game.