LAS VEGAS (AP) — This goal-mouth scramble might have had some real bite to it.
Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban accused Vegas forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of chomping on one of his fingers during a scuffle late in the second period of the Predators’ 2-1 victory Wednesday night.
Subban said he reached around Bellemare’s head to try to pull him away from Juuse Saros after the Nashville goalie covered the puck, but did not put his finger anywhere near Bellemare’s mouth.
“All I tried to do was grab him,” Subban said. “I grabbed him by the head to pull him up and he bit me, so that’s it. I don’t know what to say.”
Bellemare insisted Subban put his hand near his mouth and removed his mouth guard.
“He tried to pull me up, so obviously he’s feeling teeth and he’s acting on it,” Bellemare said. “I don’t know what to tell you, really.”
When asked about Subban’s claims that he bit a finger, Bellemare said: “I mean, if you put your hand all the way in the mouth … and you pull up, you’re going to feel the teeth.”
Subban immediately grabbed his right hand, shook it and then showed it to referee Jake Brenk. Subban appeared to have droplets of blood on his jersey.
Bellemare also appeared to have cuts on his lip.
“What do you want me to say?” Bellemare asked. “Like, I have a half glove in my throat and playing with the back of it and pulling me up. There was no mouth guard when he pulls up. Those are my teeth.”
Bellemare wasn’t penalized — but Subban was after the defenseman got into it with Vegas forward Ryan Reaves a few moments after the initial skirmish. Subban was called for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct, while Reaves was also penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“I don’t know how I walk out of there with four minutes in penalties,” Subban said. “They tried to apologize after the fact, but they already gave me four minutes in penalties. My finger is bleeding.
“It just is what it is. It’s the last game before the break for us and I’m just focused on playing the game. The last thing you want to do is change the focus of our team there. We won the game, so I forgot about it after that.”