Bruins' Ference free as a bird

Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference fights Montreal Canadiens left wing Benoit Pouliot during...

Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference fights Montreal Canadiens left wing Benoit Pouliot during the first period in Game 3 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final hockey game in Montreal, April 18, 2011. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:25 PM ET

BOSTON -- This time, Andrew Ference escaped the short arm of the NHL law.

The Boston Bruins defenceman will not be suspended or fined for his hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Jeff Halpern in Game 7 Wednesday of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

Ference appeared to put his shoulder into Halpern's head when Halpern ran into Ference deep in the Bruins zone.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli took part in a conference call with league officials Thursday and said he wasn't initially worried about any consequences for the collision.

"When it first happened, I wasn't, I thought it was just incidental contact, but when I took a closer look at it I could see where the league's concern lie," Chiarelli said. "When you look at the whole play, we turned the puck over at our blue line and when that happens, the 'D' are supposed to close off the rim around the wall. He was moving that way.

"What Andy said was he just saw a player off his shoulder as he was moving. He was looking up because he saw the turnover. His motion and with the other player's motion, they ran into each other."

Ference was fined $2,500 by the league for flipping the bird to fans at the Bell Centre after he scored in Game 4.

He said after that incident that his glove got stuck and apologized for the way it looked.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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