Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn finished Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final with 15 minutes of penalties in just 1:44 of ice time.
Killorn was tossed from the game for boarding New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson. The hit came just 5:55 into the game.
Referee Kelly Sutherland, positioned right behind the play, hit Killorn with a major penalty for boarding, along with a game misconduct. He reviewed the hit with fellow ref Steve Kozari, confirming the call on the ice.
This season, officials have the ability to review major and match penalties, with the option of confirming or reducing the penalty called on the ice, under Rule 21. The final determination is made by the on-ice officials, who stuck by their initial penalty call.
Rule 41 covers boarding.
A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously.
The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee. There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize contact. However, in determining whether such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered. This balance must be considered by the Referees when applying this rule.
The officials have the option of a major or minor penalty depending on the “the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, to a player guilty of boarding an opponent.”
If a major penalty is called on the play, a game misconduct must be assessed if the hit results in an injury to the face or head – which it did in this case.
The Lightning killed off the five minute penalty.
Nelson left the ice but later returned to the game in the second period.
Expect Player Safety to review the hit.