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Vincent Lecavalier Says Capitals Lobbied Ref Into Call

Jan 31, 2010 – 9:00 PM
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A.J. Perez

A.J. Perez %BloggerTitle%

WASHINGTON -- Count Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier among those who are upset over the lobbyists in the nation's capital.

Lecavalier was kicked from the face-off circle with 2.4 seconds to go in Sunday's game against the Washington Capitals when he maneuvered into position for the decisive draw and was then tossed from the circle. A moment later, Lecavalier was given an unsportsmanlike conduct minor after a few choice words for the officials and was in the locker room as the Caps sealed a 3-2 victory -- Washington's franchise record-tying 10th in a row.

"Their guys basically intimidated him into kicking me out (of the circle)," Lecavalier said. "That's what got me upset. One of the wingers said something to the referee (about how) I should be kicked out and they kicked me out.That's why I got upset. It didn't seem like it was his decision."

Without naming names, Lecavalier said Washington's center on the ice at the time (David Steckel) and one of the wingers (either Alex Ovechkin or Boyd Gordon) were the ones who convinced the linesman to keep him from taking the face-off. Lecavalier, however, admitted it was his fault for mouthing off to the refs, which effectively got him ejected and put the face-off -- which at the time was just to the left of Caps goalie Jose Theodore -- on the other side of the ice.

"I think he should have given me a 10 (game misconduct) instead of the 2 (unsportsmanlike conduct), but I don't know," Lecavalier said. "That's his call."

Had Lecavalier simply gotten a 10-minute misconduct penalty, the face-off would have remained in Washington's zone.

"Those guys are good refs," Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. "I'm not sure really what happened."
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