Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov was looking for a big hit. He found one, but that hit may also come with a suspension.
Nesterov delivered a dangerous hit from behind that sent Dallas Stars winger Curtis McKenzie into the boards at 15:56 of the second period in Thursday night’s game.
McKenzie was turning with the puck with his back to Nesterov. His pivot may have contributed to the position he was in when Nesterov made the hit. Still, it’s Nesterov’s responsibility to not deliver that hit through the numbers.
Referee TJ Luxmore’s arm shot up immediately. Nesterov was sent off with a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. McKenzie was helped off the ice and did not return.
Rule 43 covers Checking from Behind:
Major Penalty – Any player who cross-checks, pushes or charges from behind an opponent who is unable to protect or defend himself shall be assessed a major penalty. This penalty applies anywhere on the playing surface.
A game misconduct penalty must be assessed anytime a major penalty is applied for checking from behind.
Now, the only question that remains is whether the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will pursue further disciplinary action against Nesterov.
(Stick-tap to /r/hockey for the clip)