NHL denies asking Brad Marchand to stop licking other players

The NHL has backed up Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand after he denied reports the league asked the team to tell him to stop licking other players.

Marchand appeared to put his tongue to the neck of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov during game one of their Stanley Cup playoffs series, which Boston won 4-3.

Claims the NHL contacted the Bruins about the antics were branded "false" by the left wing, with the league supporting his denial.

"No, we did not contact the Bruins or Brad Marchand regarding this incident," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA Today on Friday. "It's just not true."

After the incident, Marchand responded to a question on why he wanted to "cuddle" with Komarov by saying: "He keeps trying to get close to me. So I don't know if he has a thing for me or what. But he's cute."

The Bruins will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the postseason, with game one slated for Saturday in Florida.

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