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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Board of Governors approves changes to two rules

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 10:02 PM / News

NHL.com

LAS VEGAS -- The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors, at its annual June meeting, today approved changes to two rules. Rule 67 – Handling Puck implements a minor penalty for use of the gloved hand to "conceal" the puck or prevent an opponent from playing it. Rule 76 – Face-Off implements a minor penalty for a player taking a face-off using his hand to direct the puck.

Rule 67 - Handling Puck

67.2 Minor Penalty – Player

A player shall be permitted to catch the puck out of the air but must immediately place it or knock it down to the ice. If he catches it and skates with it, either to avoid a check or to gain a territorial advantage over his opponent, a minor penalty shall be assessed for "closing his hand on the puck."

New, approved wording in italics:

Any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck, a minor penalty shall be assessed for "closing his hand on the puck." When this is done in his own team's goal crease area, a penalty shot shall be assessed (67.4) or a goal awarded (67.5).

A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who, while play is in progress, picks up the puck off the ice with his hand.

Rule 76 - Face-off

76.4 Procedure - Centers:

Both players facing-off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the face-off. Any attempt by either center to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand shall result in a minor penalty. This penalty shall be announced as a "Minor Penalty for Delay of Game - Face-off Violation." Once the face-off is deemed complete (and winner of the face-off is clear), hand passes shall be enforced as per Rule 79.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round