Karl Alzner ‘fine’ after big hit from Tampa Bay’s Richard Panik (updated)

Karl Alzner lays on the ice after he was hit by Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Richard Panik in the second period Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Update, Wednesday 10:57 a.m. Richard Panik will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Wednesday for his hit on Karl Alzner.

Original post: The Capitals avoided a major blow when defenseman Karl Alzner escaped  significant harm after a dangerous neutral-zone hit during Washington’s 6-5 shootout win Tuesday night at Verizon Center.

Alzner went to chip the puck into the offensive zone along the right side boards when Lightning winger Richard Panik delivered a shoulder check that sent the defenseman crashing hard into the boards, his head hitting the dasher with 16:31 gone in the second period.

Washington’s key stay-at-home defenseman was slow to get up and immediately headed down the tunnel to the Capitals’ dressing room. He later said the play left him stunned but not injured.

“I’m fine, I’m completely fine. It was more scary than anything. But I have no effects, no after-effects,” Alzner said, adding that he did not undergo concussion testing protocol. “It was more just shock than anything. My head feels fine, everything’s fine. I’m pretty lucky.”

Alzner returned to the bench in the second period, but because of the extended power play created by Panik receiving a five-minute major for boarding, he didn’t take another shift until the third period. (Alex Ovechkin scored both of his power play goals during the major.) After the scare, Alzner skated 12 shifts for 9:31 of his total 23:13 ice time in the contest.

Alzner said he knew Panik was pursuing him on the play, but that he didn’t fault his opponent for what happened.

“I knew he was there. I fumbled the puck, I went to go poke it in and I’m not in the best position,” Alzner said. “You kind of hope the guy lets off a little bit but it was fast — I don’t hold anything against him. I knew he was there and had to try and get the puck in. I wasn’t going to let it go.”



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Next Story
Katie Carrera · December 10, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.