Pacioretty faced a phone hearing with the NHL on Sunday afternoon after he appeared to jump into a hit that sent the Rangers defenseman face first into the end boards. McDonagh would leave the game and not return, while Pacioretty was hit with a boarding minor on the play.
It's worth noting that the Pacioretty hit comes just minutes after the Canadiens forward was hit awkwardly into the boards by McDonagh, leading a logical mind to believe that the resulting hit was believe a bit of on-ice revenge.
In regards to the legality of the hit, the NHL Department of Player Safety likely sees this as a case of McDonagh putting his back into a hit he likely saw coming; Brenden Shanahan has shown before that the NHL will take such moves into account when considering a suspension.
While Rangers coach John Tortorella was convinced that Pacioretty leaped into the hit, close examination of the replay shows initial contact between the players came with both skates for the Canadiens forward firmly on the ice.