Eric Boulton denied the accusation of Tampa Bay center Nate Thompson that the Thrashers forward intentionally delivered a knee-to-knee hit late in the third period of Wednesday’s game.
“Who is Nate Thompson?” Boulton asked Saturday.
Lightning coach Guy Boucher said Thompson suffered a hyper-extension of this left knee. He sat out the team’s practice Thursday and was listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against Buffalo.
“It was 100 percent unintentional,” Boulton said. “He comes out in the paper and blasts me. Basically, I’ll do my talking on the ice. If he wants to start something he can’t finish, then he can go ahead and do that.”
After watching a video of the hit, Thompson told the St. Pete Times, “It was awful. I mean, I’m by the guy. You can see on the replay he purposefully puts his knee out and barely misses with an elbow, too. I’m not really too surprised. Eric Boulton, not the best player in the world. He’s got to compensate for sticking his knee out when I’m by him with 10 seconds left in the game.”
The Lightning won 2-1 in a shootout.
Boulton was not called for a penalty on the play. The NHL has taken no action following the hit.
The teams play again on Dec. 26 in Atlanta.