Pacioretty facing hearing for head hit

Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty stands in front of Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas during...

Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty stands in front of Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas during first period of their game at the Bell Centre in Montreal, November 21, 2011. (Pierre-Paul Poulin/QMI Agency)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:29 PM ET

A bunch of Montreal Canadiens fans called 911 when winger Max Pacioretty was steamrolled into a stanchion at the Bell Centre by Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara last season.

Now it's going to be NHL lord of discipline Brendan Shanahan reaching for the phone to call Pacioretty.

Pacioretty is on the other end of it this time around. He faces a phone hearing with Shanahan Monday morning and likely faces a suspension after he hit Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang in the face with his shoulder Saturday night. He caught Letang coming over the Montreal blueline with his head down with about three minutes left in the third period.

It looked like a violation of Rule 48 "Illegal Check to the Head," but no penalty was called on the play.

Letang suffered a broken nose, but was cleared to return to play after being checked out for a possible concussion and scored a controversial winning goal in overtime.

"I was taking a shot and had my head down. I guess (Pacioretty) was coming across to finish his hit," said Letang. "But he apologized on the ice. He came over and we kind of skated around. He apologized, which was a great gesture by him."

A doctor popped Letang's broken beak back into place and he wound up scoring the winner after the Penguins raked the puck out from under the glove of Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who was livid the play had not been whistled dead. Price smashed his stick and hurled it across the ice as the refs "ran away," as he put it.

It wound up being a wild finish strange night at the Bell Centre with the victims of the most memorable brain trauma of last season -- Pacioretty and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby -- both trying to explain hits to the head of opponents.

Crosby had been accused of being a hypocrite by Ottawa Senators forward Nick Foligno -- speaking out against headshots after he missed the last 10 months with a concussion -- and then elbowing Foligno in the head Friday night as they jostled after he made with Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Crosby explained his preaching was about hits like Pacioretty's on Letang, not what happens in a scrum.

Pacioretty was contrite and apologetic after the game, but the videotape will speak for itself.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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