(Reuters) - Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall will miss Wednesday’s decisive Eastern Conference quarter-final Game Seven against Tampa Bay after he was suspended for a hard check on Nikita Kucherov.
Kronwall made the hit late in the second period of Monday’s Game Six, which the Lightning won 5-2 to tie the series at three games apiece.
The Swedish defenseman skated hard into the Russian winger, appearing to lift off of his skates as he made contact and his forearm hitting Kucherov’s face. No penalty was called on the play, and Kucherov stayed in the game.
“What causes this infraction to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the force with which the hit was delivered and the significant head contact that resulted from Kronwall launching into him,” the NHL said.
The suspension is the first for Kronwall in his 11-year career in the league, all with the Red Wings.
Reporting By Cameron French; Editing by Peter Rutherford