Boarding may cost Niemo

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET


 Colin Campbell may once again make a phone call to Ville Nieminen in the 2004 NHL playoffs.

 Could another suspension for the pesky Finn be in the works after last night?

 That's possible after the Calgary Flames feisty forward smoked Vincent Lecavalier into the boards with 4:13 left in last night's 1-0 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

 "I think you saw the play," said Lightning head coach John Tortorella, when asked post-game about the hit at the Flames' blueline. "I don't need to say anything about it."

 The hit will likely be reviewed by league disciplinarian Campbell.

 With the puck pinned along the boards and Lecavalier poking at the rubber, Nieminen checked him from behind and got his hands high, driving Lecavalier's head hard into the glass.

 The Lightning star crumpled to the ice and Nieminen was handed a five-minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct.

 Lecavalier received treatment for a head injury on the bench until the end of the game.

 "Maybe it's a penalty but is it five?" said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. "He hopped up pretty quick. I don't know."

 "Definitely a penalty," added Flames GM-head coach Darryl Sutter. "It's a two-minute penalty.

 "It's called a five-minute penalty because they react to the player going down."

 It could also be a suspension, which would be the second for Nieminen in these playoffs. In the dying seconds of a Game 4, 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the second round, Nieminen ran into goaltender Curtis Joseph and was subsequently banned for one game.

 While Lecavalier declined to comment on the incident after the game, Nieminen stated his case.

 "Lecavalier turned at the last second and I finished my check," Nieminen said. "It's unfortunate.

 "He was two feet away from the boards and fell awkwardly.

 "I didn't have speed on the hit. It was a battle for the puck. I didn't take any strides."


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