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League Warns Montreal, Boston in Aftermath of Zednik's Injury

April 27, 2002|From Associated Press

Boston and Montreal have been warned by the NHL to keep their emotions under control for Game 5 of their first-round series today at Boston, following Thursday's vicious hit on Canadien forward Richard Zednik by Kyle McLaren of the Bruins.

"It's not left to the individual clubs to seek justice," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday. "That's our job, and the clubs know that."

McLaren is serving an automatic suspension for at least one game after he put Zednik in the hospital with a crushing elbow to the face in Game 4. A disciplinary hearing this weekend will determine the length of the suspension.

Zednik remained hospitalized Friday with a severe concussion, broken nose and cut under the right eye.

He'll miss the remainder of the series with Montreal.

McLaren has said he did nothing wrong and said he regretted the incident.

Zednik scored both Montreal goals in Boston's 5-2 loss and was the team's leading scorer in the series with eight points. The best-of-seven Eastern Conference series is tied at two games each.

Canadien General Manager Andre Savard wants a severe suspension and said the hit was worse than the one by Tie Domi of Toronto on Scott Niedermayer of New Jersey in last season's playoffs. Domi was suspended for eight games for that hit.

When asked after Friday's practice in Boston whether the Canadiens have to retaliate, Montreal Coach Michel Therrien said, "We have to play hard.

"We have to control our composure. Yes, we're still upset. But, on the other hand, this is a thing that is going to motivate our team."

Montreal called up Matt O'Dette from Quebec of the American Hockey League. O'Dette, who is 6 feet 5 and 221 pounds, had 136 penalty minutes and eight points in 48 games this season at Quebec.

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