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Panthers blast Habs Moen for questionable punches at rookie Gudbranson

MONTREAL - The Florida Panthers are calling out Montreal Canadiens veteran Travis Moen for throwing two punches at rookie defenceman Erik Gudbranson while his arms were being held by a linesman during a fight.

Gudbranson went after Moen when the Canadiens winger boarded Evgeny Dadonov at 12:47 of the third period of Montreal's 6-2 pre-season win on Monday night.

The 18-year-old was pinned against the boards with his arms held back by a linesman when Moen reached around to land a hard shot to the head and followed with an uppercut. The third-overall pick in the June draft was left with cuts and a swollen left eye.

''I don't know when it's been all right for a veteran to get a young guy hurt, in a vulnerable position, and keep throwing punches,'' said Panthers coach Peter DeBoer. ''It's a play that doesn't belong in hockey.''

Gudbranson also felt victim of a cheap shot.

''The refs hung me out to dry,'' he said. ''I went after him. I wanted to fight him. I instigated it. It was a hockey fight, but the refs had me pinned to the boards and held my arm.

''I could have done the same to him at the end. I could have broken his nose, but I chose not to.''

Moen was not available for comment. Montreal coach Jacques Martin said he couldn't see the incident from the bench and had no comment.

Moen was given a boarding minor, a fighting major and a game misconduct, while Gudbranson got a fighting major and a misconduct. Montreal's Ryan White and Florida's Mike Duco got fighting and game misconducts while the Panthers also took a bench minor for abuse of officials.

In all, 122 penalty minutes were called in the game.

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