A punch to the face probably won't keep Aaron Ward off the ice.

The Boston Bruins defenseman says he expects to play in Tuesday night 's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. He was punched by Carolina's Scott Walker two nights earlier during a late-game dustup that drew a $2,500 fine _ but no suspension _ for the Hurricanes forward.

Ward sported a shiner around his left eye while taking part in the Bruins' morning skate. Afterward, he made his first public comments about the incident, calling Walker's explanation that the two had engaged in a fight "a convenient story that the NHL accepted."

Ward said he neither saw nor exchanged words with Walker before being hit. Walker said the punch was not something he's proud of.