Tampa Bay winger Richard Panik has been suspended two games for boarding Karl Alzner in the second period of the Capitals’ 6-5 shootout win, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Wednesday evening.
In the video explanation of the ruling, Panik’s hit from behind is described as occurring a “dangerous distance from the boards” and causing a “violent collision”. Given the NHL’s focus on eliminating hits from behind — Capitals forward Jason Chimera was fined earlier this season for boarding — it’s not all that unexpected that they would look to discourage players from making the type of hit that Panik did.
Alzner returned to and finished the game and acknowledged he was “pretty lucky” to not suffer any injury on the play. Via the Tampa Tribune, here’s what Panik had to say about the play.
“I was backchecking and I tried to finish the (check), but I was a little behind and it’s a bad penalty,’’ Panik said. “I feel really bad. I put the team in a bad spot, a bad situation. I feel really bad about it. … it can’t happen in a game, and hopefully it’s not going to happen again. I should have just taken a couple of more strides, hit him clean and then everything would be OK.’’
Here’s the video from the NHL Department of Player Safety.