Montreal police are defending their decision to launch tear gas on thousands of hockey fans outside the Bell Centre minutes after the Habs' 3-2 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.
It was the second time in less than two weeks that Montreal police officers used tear gas against fans outside the arena without first ordering the crowd to disperse.
"At the end of yesterday night, bottles were thrown and fireworks were set off in the area around the Bell Centre," police spokesperson Anik de Repentigny wrote in an email Tuesday.
Police took measures to restore order a few minutes after the end of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final, she said in the email.
"The use of chemical irritants was judged necessary to disperse some recalcitrant groups."