Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn has been suspended one game for boarding New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson.
Killorn was given a major penalty and game misconduct by referees Kelly Sutherland and Steve Kozari, a call the on-ice officials confirmed via video review.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety rendered their verdict on Thursday afternoon, deeming the play ‘a forceful hit from behind on a defenseless player no longer in possession of the puck.’
“Well after Nelson releases the puck, Killorn approaches from behind,” Player Safety explains. “Having seen nothing but Nelson’s numbers for some time, Killorn delivers a forceful check to the defenseless Nelson, driving him dangerously into the boards.”
Player Safety noted that there was no ‘sudden or unexpected’ movement from Nelson that contributed to the severity of the hit.
“What causes this play to rise to a level of Supplemental Discipline is the angle of approach Killorn takes and the fact that the puck has been gone for some time when the hit is initiated, both of which make Nelson particularly defenseless.”
The Lightning winger missed 54 minutes of Game 2. He’ll miss the entirety of Friday’s Game 3.
Killorn has never been suspended but was fined $5000 for unsportsmanlike conduct after a water-bottle battle with the New York Rangers.
No salary is forfeited as a result of the suspension, as players do not collect a salary in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This is the fourth suspension handed out in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Chicago’s Drake Caggiula missed one game for an Illegal Check to the Head against the Oilers, while Philadelphia’s Matt Niskanen sat for one game for a crosscheck to the face of Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher. Most recently, Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves sat for one game for an Illegal Check to the Head.