Game 7 of the series between the Florida Panthers and the Boston Bruins has brought out the tension that is often associated with a decisive game. That tension bubbled to the midway through the first period when an official's call sent members of both teams to the penalty box for roughing.
Referee hot mic alert! NHL ref Steve Kozari forgot he turned his microphone on before yelling at Boston Bruins player Brandon Carlo "don't f*cking test me!" during Game 7 against the Florida Panthers. https://t.co/DBZl3XwtrS
— OutKick (@Outkick) April 30, 2023
Those players were Sam Bennett of the Panthers and Brandon Carlo of the Bruins at the 11:33 mark of the period. Carlo did not like the call and started to issue his complaint to referee Steve Kozari as he was on his way to the penalty box.
Kozari stopped the big defenseman in his tracks, and told him in no uncertain terms that he didn't want to hear any criticism. He looked right at Carlo and said “Don't f***ing test me.”
Nothing unusual about that, except that Kozari's microphone was live and it was picked up by the TNT broadcast. That's clearly not supposed to happen, but the mistake went out over the air and in TD Garden.
Kozari uses his mic regularly to announce penalties and other official decisions, but that mic is not supposed to be open during conversations with players.
Carlo apparently listened to the referee and didn't sustain his argument after the warning. The Boston Bruins defenseman and Bennett both went off the ice without further incident.
The Panthers would break on top in the game on the power play as defenseman Brandon Montour scored on a backhand shot. The team that has scored the opening goal in each game of the series has won each game.
Florida had a 2-1 lead after 2 periods.