Boston Bruins

Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri will have a chance to plead his case to the NHL’s Department of Player Safety face-to-face on Monday, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Hit with a five-minute major and game misconduct for a cross-check to the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the third period of Boston’s 4-1 win in Saturday’s Game 2 at TD Garden, the in-person hearing status likely means that the Toronto pivot is looking at a potential series-ending suspension.

The 28-year-old Kadri was involved in a similar incident last season with then-Bruins forward Tommy Wingels, and was hit with a three-game ban. That happened a calendar year ago, meaning Kadri falls under the repeat offender umbrella.

Kadri declined to speak with reporters following the loss, leaving his teammates and coach to answer for his penalty.

“Nazem is a crucial part of our team, whatever the circumstances are we believe in the guys we have in our locker room,” said John Tavares. 

“I mean the league decides on all this kind of stuff,” Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said of the Kadri ejection. “I didn’t see it and have it reviewed because it was down the wall from us so I haven’t reviewed it so I don’t really know that. It was a physical game. The referees let a lot of stuff go obviously, but in the end you can’t let that get in the way of doing what you’re doing.”

With Kadri expected to be out on Monday (at the very least), the Maple Leafs will have to move either William Nylander or Patrick Marleau to center.

The Bruins and Leafs are currently tied 1-1 in their opening round series.