MONTREAL -- Milan Lucic came so close to coming out of it unscathed.
After a summer of hearing about the remarks he made in the handshake line at the end of the Boston Bruins' loss in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Montreal Canadiens, Lucic was facing those Canadiens again for the first time Thursday, and all eyes were on him.
On his first shift of the game, Lucic picked up the puck with speed and entered the Canadiens zone only to have his nemesis, Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin, knock him down with a solid shoulder check.
The sellout Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 fans roared its approval, but Lucic did nothing to retaliate. In fact, Lucic was on his best behavior for most of the night, focused on helping the Bruins win more so than exacting any sort of revenge for a playoff loss five months earlier.
But in the final minutes, with the Bruins trailing 5-4 but taking the play to the Canadiens in an effort to tie the game, Lucic was faced with an opportunity too difficult to resist.