Matt Stajan won't forget his 26th birthday present from Boston Bruins' defenceman Johnny Boychuk.
Moving through the neutral zone with his head down, Stajan caught the brunt of Boychuk's shoulder check as the Bruin lined him up perfectly. Stajan's visor was crushed against his nose and it opened a bloody cut. While he lay on the ice, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Tomas Kaberle led a Leafs charge after the culprit.
"You guys can make the judgement whether he went for my head or not," a patched up Stajan said later. "I thought he jumped at me."
Coach Ron Wilson agreed his player should have been more careful in open ice, but also wondered about Boychuk's intention. Boychuk wasn't called for the hit, but Ponikarovsky was sent off for roughing. Boychuk, who has an inch and 25 pounds on Stajan, said the hit was within the rules and that he made sure to keep his elbow down.
Stajan had earlier hacked at big Boston captain Zdeno Chara.
"(Stajan) gets the Purple Heart and an 'A' for effort," Wilson said.