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NH's Schaller steps up after hit on Acciari

Boston Herald

December 28. 2017 11:44PM

Tim Schaller of the Bruins lands a punch against Ottawa's Fredrik Claesson on Wednesday night. (USA TODAY SPORTS)

This current team is nothing like the Big, Bad Bruins of old. Those teams simply do not exist anymore.

But these B’s do know when to stick up for each other. That was evident at 15:01 of the first period Wednesday night when Ottawa defenseman Fredrik Claesson hit an unsuspecting Noel Acciari in the head in the neutral zone. Claesson received a match penalty, but not before he answered to Tim Schaller. Acciari’s linemate went right at Claesson, who dropped the gloves and took a beating.

“That was a head shot. I’m not going to comment on the intention, I just know it was a high shot, and Noel will go to bat for anyone on this team,” coach Bruce Cassidy said after the B’s 5-1 rout of the Senators. “It’s well-received in the room. People will have different opinions on clean checks in hockey. You should be able to take a number. And I don’t disagree with that. But I think it was a high hit, and Timmy reacted accordingly.”

Acciari was slow to get up and did not play the rest of the period, but he returned in the second. Schaller, who played with Acciari at Providence College, had no qualms about stepping up.

“Anyone in the lineup would have done the same thing that I did,” said Schaller, of Merrimack, N.H. “That’s the type of team that you want to play for.”

Schaller was frustrated after receiving 17 minutes in penalties for instigating.

“Yeah, that was interesting,” he said. “I talked to the ref before I got to the box. I was polite about it. I made sure (Claesson) said yes. I was surprised when I got it, but it was worth it.”

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