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Bruins defenseman sends Nikita Kucherov to concussion protocol with a high hit

The Lightning forward was OK, but how was John-Michael Liles not penalized?

The Tampa Bay Lightning briefly lost one of their best scorers on an uncalled penalty on Tuesday.

Near the end of the first period against the Boston Bruins, Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov carried the puck quickly up the ice in a race to split Bruins forward Noel Acciari and defenseman John-Michael Liles. He looked like he would be successful right up to the point that Liles lunged forward and threw his arm at Kucherov's head.


At full speed the play looked like an over-the-top, dangerous elbow. Slowed down, though, it's unclear whether Liles' forearm or elbow made first contact. There's little doubt he connected with the head, though:


As per NHL policy, Kucherov left the ice and headed to a "quiet room" to undergo concussion protocol. He returned to the Lightning bench to start the second period, but how any penalty went uncalled on Liles has to baffle his teammates.

It's worth noting that Liles has never faced a suspension or fine for dangerous play in his career.