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NEW YORK — Rangers forward Carl Hagelin was suspended for three games by the NHL on Sunday for elbowing Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson in the head during New York’s loss in Game 2 of the first-round Eastern Conference series.
Hagelin apologized earlier Sunday, after a telephone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, and hoped to avoid punishment beyond the major penalty he served Saturday night. But instead, he will miss the next three games of the best-of-seven series.
The Senators didn’t escape unscathed, either, as defenseman Matt Carkner was given a one-game suspension Sunday for his role in a one-sided fight he started against Rangers forward Brian Boyle just 2:15 into Game 2. Carkner was given a major penalty for fighting and was ejected.
Hagelin’s hit on Alfredsson occurred at 10:32 of the second period in the Ottawa end. After Alfredsson moved the puck along the boards, Hagelin landed his elbow on Alfredsson’s head, sending him into the glass.
“After Alfredsson chips the puck up the boards, Hagelin continues on his path and finishes his check with his arms high, recklessly striking Alfredsson in the side of head with his elbow,” Shanahan said in a video explanation that accompanied the announcement of the suspension. “This hit is a clear violation of what is defined by NHL rules as elbowing.”
There was no update Sunday on Alfredsson’s condition or playing status.
The Rangers and Senators are tied 1-1, so the rookie Hagelin could be done for the series should it end in five games or be finished for the season if New York loses the next three games.
The fact that Hagelin hasn’t received a prior fine or suspension during his rookie NHL season prevented this punishment from being harsher.
Carkner was suspended for “continuing to inflict punishment upon an opponent who was an unwilling combatant in an altercation,” the NHL said in its announcement.
“Carkner instigated an altercation with New York forward Brian Boyle, who did not respond. After knocking Boyle to the ice with two punches, Carkner continued to throw punches at his opponent, who was an unwilling combatant. Carkner’s actions classified him as an ‘aggressor’ under NHL rules.”