Caps' stickwork has Bruins seething

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Caps' stickwork has Bruins seething

WASHINGTON -- The Bruins are pretty fed up with Washington cross-checking their players to the head and face.

The latest was a Nicklas Backstrom hit on Rich Peverley at the end of the third period of Monday nights 4-3 Bruins win over the Capitals at the Verizon Center. But it wasnt close to the only one for the Caps, who've taken on some of the characteristics of their coach, Dale Hunter, as theyve wielded their sticks like Roman gladiators.

David Krejci was the first victim in Game 1, when he took a Jay Beagle butt-end to the mouth and nose during a faceoff at center ice. That was followed by Alex Ovechkin jamming the shaft of his stick into the mouth of Dennis Seidenberg in Game 2.

The Beagle warranted a minor penalty for cross-checking, but the Ovechkin incident went completely uncalled -- or unnoticed -- by the referees. Backstrom was hit with a match penalty Monday night, but the Capitals were expecting the match penalty to be rescinded.

Bruins coach Claude Julien was happy to let the NHL Player Safety Department make the final call on Backstroms dangerous stickwork, but noted that hes getting tired of seeing Washington sticks making contact with the unprotected faces of his players.

Its normal that theres some intensity and the rivalry is getting better and bigger as we move forward, said Julien. You understand those things are going to happen. The one thing you find a little disappointing, for me anyway, is that this is the third time in three games that one of our players has been cross-checked in the face.

We saw the one with Krejci in Game 1 and you saw Ovechkin on Seidenberg in Game 2 and now Backstrom. You hope those things dont get out of hand. Im going to say the same things as I said last time: Somebody else has to deal with that, and not us. Im just going to get my team ready for the next game.