PITTSBURGH -- The first controversial hit of the Stanley Cup Final came from of an unlikely source.
Patrick Marleau, who had just 10 penalty minutes in 82 regular season games, was called for an illegal check to the head of Pittsburgh’s Bryan Rust at 4:47 of the third period of Game 1 on Monday night.
Rust, who gave the Penguins a 1-0 first period lead, had to temporarily leave the game and did not return.
Marleau said about the hit: “I just tried to keep everything down. I didn’t want to get too high on him.”
The two-time Lady Byng finalist as the league’s most gentlemanly player, who scored the game-tying goal in the second period, doesn’t expect any supplemental discipline.
“I don’t think so. I kept my shoulder in and elbow in, and everything in,” Marleau said.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan called it a “blindside hit to the head,” and said Rust was day-to-day with an upper body injury.
"Obviously we lost him for the rest of the period," Sullivan said. "I'm sure the league will look at it.
Pittsburgh won, 3-2, on a late goal by Nick Bonino. Game 2 is on Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center.