David Pastrnak ejected for hit on Rangers Ryan Lindgren
(Screenshot/ MSG)

The intensity was palpable between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers on Saturday night at TD Garden.

Things finally boiled over when Bruins star winger David Pastrnak was ejected 18:10 into the second period for a dangerous hit from behind on Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren.

Pastrnak was battling for a loose puck behind the Rangers net when he drove Lindgren head-first into the boards. Lindgren was bleeding badly from the face and had to leave the game.


Pastrnak received a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct, abruptly ending his night.

The hit sparked a scrum along the boards as players from both teams came together. Rangers forward Artemi Panarin was assessed a roughing minor for his role in the aftermath. The referees reviewed video of the play before making the final call to eject Pastrnak.

“Very surprised. I thought it was two minutes,” said Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery after the game. The coach didn’t understand why Pastrnak got five minutes when Smith’s hit on Brad Marchand a few weeks back didn’t.

The NHL Department of Player Safety will likely review the incident further to determine if supplemental discipline against Pastrnak is warranted. He does have a history, having been suspended two games in 2016 for an illegal check to the head of former Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi.

Prior to the ejection, tensions were already high between these two rivals. Earlier in the period, Bruins forward Trent Frederic and Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba dropped the gloves in a long-awaited grudge match. Trouba slashed Frederic in the head during a game last month.

The Bruins came into Saturday’s contest eager to avenge a 7-4 loss to the Rangers in late November. That game featured some questionable physicality from New York, putting Boston on alert for the rematch.

Now we wait to see if Pastrnak’s hit leads to an even greater escalation of hostilities between two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.