Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said on Sunday that he will not contest a fine of more than $2,800 for squirting water from the bench at Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban in the final minute of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"I obviously got caught up in the moment," Thornton said on an offday at the TD Garden. "I'm sorry that this silly incident kind of overshadowed how my teammates played and the great win and how good this series has been. There's definitely more important things that we can focus on."
The Bruins were leading the Canadiens 4-2 in the final minutes of Game 5 on Saturday night when Subban skated past the Boston bench with the puck. Thornton squirted water at the Montreal defenseman, hitting him in the face shield.
Angered, Subban approached the bench and exchanged words with Thornton. He then went to complain to the referee.
"Somebody sprayed water on my visor at the end of the game. I couldn't see out of half of it," Subban said after the game, acknowledging that the incident, while annoying, did not affect the outcome. "I don't want it to be bulletin board material."
Boston held on to win the game 4-2 and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Bruins need a victory on Monday night in Montreal to eliminate the Canadiens and avoid a decisive seventh game in Boston on Wednesday.
The fine of $2,820.52 is the maximum allowed under the league's collective bargaining agreement with the union. The money goes to the players' emergency assistance fund.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said he did not approve of Thornton's behavior and let him know.
"As a coach, you always want to support your players. But there's certain things you can't support," Julien said on Sunday. "I don't think I can support Shawn on those actions. To me, I don't think we like seeing our players do that. Now whether he got caught up in the game or whatever, to me he's got to own up to it."