BOSTON -- Spraygate has arrived.
Immediately following the Boston Bruins' 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series Saturday night at TD Garden, the Canadiens were upset that Bruins forward Shawn Thornton allegedly sprayed Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban in the face with a water bottle in the final minute of the game.
Subban had the puck and skated by the Bruins bench when it appeared he was sprayed in the face.
"Yeah, we saw that. I don't want to comment on that," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said.
Bruins coach Claude Julien also tried to downplay the controversy.
"No, I didn't see that," Julien said. "Again, I've heard the same thing about that. I certainly don't support those kind of things, but I didn't see it, so I can't comment more than that."
Subban expanded on the incident.
"With Thorty [Thornton], I don't know if it was him, but someone had squirted water twice at the end of the game in my visor, and I couldn't even see for a minute and a half. I was pretty upset about that, but that is part of the game."
Subban added, "I don't know if it is part of the game. I am sure if that was me that did it, it would be a different story. It would probably be on the news for the next three days. I don't expect that to be a story, but, listen, whatever it takes to win.
"I got hit in the visor twice with water. I don't know who it was. I mean, listen, I don't need you guys to make it a big deal out of it. It is one of those irritating things when you're down 4-2. Listen, they beat us. That's not the reason why we lost. It's just one of those things that frustrates you even more towards the end of the game. I don't want to take away anything from their team. They played well today. They executed. We have to be better. Now, it's do or die for us going back home. We have played well in our barn all year and in this playoffs, so we have to execute."
Thornton wasn't the only Bruins player to mix it up with Subban during Game 5.
With Montreal trailing 3-0, Milan Lucic and Subban were running at each other for an entire shift, and it was obvious the Montreal defenseman was attempting to bait Boston's hulking forward into a penalty.
"Lucic is a great player. He is big, and we were at that point where we were down 3-0, just trying to find everything that I can to try, maybe get him into taking a penalty or something," Subban said. "He's a pretty smart player. He has been around a while, so he really didn't fall into that. Just trying to battle him."
At one point, Lucic was flexing on the bench in Subban's direction.
"I think it's self-explanatory," Lucic said. "Just one of those battles within the game. And just having some fun within the game. You know, as serious as this game can be sometimes, it has to be fun as well. You know [Subban] likes to have fun, too. So, I mean, you turn the page and focus on the next game."