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Jets coach Paul Maurice ejected after arguing with referee

Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice was ejected from Thursday night's 6-5, shootout loss at Tampa Bay after arguing with referee Francois St. Laurent.

Maurice was upset about a play late in the second period when the Jets' Bryan Little was injured on a hit by Tampa Bay's Anton Stralman.

Blake Wheeler went after Stralman, who was not penalized for the hit but got two minutes for roughing while Wheeler got four minutes for roughing.

As the teams prepared to start the third period, Maurice continued to voice his displeasure to St. Laurent, who tossed the Jets coach.

"I was upset because you work with these guys every day and you care about them and you care about their wives and their families," Maurice said after the game. "Bryan Little's getting his neck X-rayed, and I seemed to be considerably more concerned about the result of that hit than anyone else."

Asked about reports that St. Laurent was laughing after ejecting him, Maurice said: "You're not doing me any favors here. I understand you have a job to do. But I think that that would then have been consistent with [the officials'] overall demeanor regarding the whole thing."

Jets assistant Charlie Huddy took over behind the bench for the start of the third period.

While it is rare for an NHL coach to be ejected, Maurice's ejection is the second in less than a week. Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant was tossed late in Saturday night's game against the Nashville Predators for verbally abusing officials.

Maurice is in his third season as coach of the Jets, who entered the night nine points out of a Western Conference playoff spot.

Maurice previously coached the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs.