TAMPA – Tampa Bay Lightning rookie forward Richard Panik received a two-game suspension for his hit on Washington defenseman Karl Alzner during Tuesday’s game.
Panik received a five-minute major boarding call for hitting Alzner in the back near center ice and sending him into the side boards at 16:31 of the second period. Alzer briefly left the ice but returned and finished the rest of the game. The Capitals scored twice on the continuous power play to tie the game and eventually win it in a shootout.
“Alzner is attempting to gain the red line as Panik skates in behind him. Just as Alzner dumps the puck he is in a very vulnerable position at a dangerous distance from the board. Panik checks him in the numbers causing a violent collision into the boards,’’ the NHL Player Safety department explained in a video announcing the suspension.
Panik, who was back in the lineup Tuesday after being a healthy scratch the previous two games, will miss Thursday’s game against Detroit and Saturday at New Jersey while forfeiting $7,589.74 in salary that goes to the Player’s Emergency Assistance Fund. He is eligible to return to the lineup Sunday in Detroit.
After the game Panik said he had no intention to injure Alzner.
“I’m glad he’s OK,’’ Panik said. “I was backchecking and I tried to finish the (check), but I was a little behind and it’s a bad penalty ... 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.’’