San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson received a two-game suspension Sunday for a hit to the head of Los Angeles Kings forward Austin Wagner a day earlier, the NHL announced.
Less than three minutes into the second period, Wagner attempted to carry the puck out of the Kings’ zone when Karlsson hit him with his right shoulder at the blue line. Wagner immediately went down to the ice, tried to get back up, but went back down to the ice.
He did not return to the game, which the visiting Kings would win 3-2 in overtime.
“I’m not going to lie. I was very surprised,” Karlsson told the media, referring to the suspension.
“I think it’s a clean hit. I hope he’s OK. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t finish the game. I can’t really go into specific details because I don’t want to risk anything more, since I have no say in the matter. But at the end of the day, hopefully he’s fine. You never want to see anyone get hurt, and I wish him all the best. I have a clear conscience for my part. I think I did everything within the rules, but unfortunately some people didn’t think I did.”
“Disappointed,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer told the media of the league’s decision. “From every report I have, my understanding is the injury is to the shoulder. I think that speaks to it, in my mind. But I might be oversimplifying. I’m not going to say any more on that because you just get yourself in trouble.”
Karlsson, acquired from Ottawa in an offseason trade, is in the midst of his best run as a Shark with points in eight straight games. He did not play in the Sharks’ 4-3 loss at home to Arizona on Sunday.
He has two goals and 24 assists with a minus-three rating in 37 games this season.
—Field Level Media