[UPDATE: Per Habs GM Marc Bergevin, Gallagher will require surgery for a broken jaw and is done for the series. Also, Niskanen has been suspended one game.]
Late in the third period, as the two were battling in the corner with the Canadiens holding a 4-3 lead, the Flyers defenseman cross-checked Gallagher up high. No penalty was called on the play.
The Canadiens, making sure the NHL and hockey world got a good look at the incident, Tweeted out video from right on the other side of the glass in that corner.
Ouch 😐 pic.twitter.com/R0lja9mofZ
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) August 20, 2020
Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller said Thursday morning that the team is still waiting to hear back about Gallagher’s status. He also added the team sent footage of the cross-check to the league in hopes of encouraging discipline for Niskanen. The move worked as Niskanen will have a Thursday hearing with the Department of Player Safety.
“The video will definitely explain what they’ll see,” Muller said. “We’re going to leave it with the league and we’ll have confidence that the video will show what it shows.”
“In my estimation, Gallagher got up and seemed fine, he was talking to the referees, the whole time he was on the bench, he was talking to our players for the rest of the game,” said Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault. “Gallagher’s a very competitive player, but I don’t think it’s Nisky’s fault he might not be as tall as some of the other guys but he competes as big, if not bigger, than anybody else. It just seemed like a hockey play that unfortunately cut [Gallagher] a little bit.”
Muller could not say whether Gallagher would be in the lineup for Game 6 (Friday, 7 p.m. ET; NBCSN).
“You know how tough he is,” he said. “I would never count him out.”
Temperatures were high during Game 5
That incident was one of several in a feisty Game 5 that saw Montreal stave off elimination with a 5-3 win. One was Sean Couturier putting a blindside hit on Artturi Lehkonen after his empty-net goal at the end of the game. Another big talking point was Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s second period ejection for boarding Travis Sanheim.
The Canadiens forward was given a boarding major and game misconduct. He will reportedly not face any supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety.
“For us, we just thought [the Kotkaniemi hit], it was a hockey play, finishing his check,” Muller said. “To get the penalty and the game, we can live with that.”
No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 8 Montreal Canadiens (PHI leads 3-2)
Wednesday, Aug. 12: Flyers 2, Canadiens 1 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Canadiens 5, Flyers 0 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Flyers 1, Canadiens 0 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Flyers 2, Canadiens 0 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Canadiens 5, Flyers 3 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 21: Philadelphia at Montreal, 7 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Montreal at Philadelphia – TBD