The Anaheim Ducks will have to play Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final without Chris Pronger.
The NHL suspended the star defenceman for one game Sunday NHL for hitting Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in the head with his forearm during the third period of the Senators' 5-3 win in Game 3 on Saturday.
"This one took a lot of thought," Colin Campbell, the NHL's executive vice-president and director of hockey operations, said at a news conference. "It wasn't an easy one. It didn't jump out at us right away."
McAmmond was hit as he skated with the puck toward the Ducks' net.He fell backward, struck his head on the ice, and slid into the corner in the Anaheim zone at 2:01 of the third period.
Pronger was not penalized for the hit,but a woozy McAmmond had to be helpedoff the icewith a head injury.The veteran of 14 NHL seasons did not return,andis doubtful forGame 4 in Ottawa on Monday (CBC, 8 p.m. ET).
"McAmmond doesn't look promising," Senators coach Bryan Murray said.
Pronger has now been suspended twice in these playoffs. The six-foot-six, 220-pound blue-liner, who leads the Ducks with 11 assists and 30:44 of ice time per game in the post-season, also missed Game 4 of the Western Conference final for a high hit on Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom.
"I've obviously been in front of them before and now I'm a repeat offender," said Pronger. "And they did the right thing here. It's a situation where there was a head blow, and that's obviously something they're trying to crack down on. And I don't blame them in any way."
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said the team must now move on from Pronger's suspension.
"We accept the league's decision," said Carlyle, whose team leads the NHL championship series two games to one."We feel that the player did not attempt to hurt Dean McAmmond.
"We have to live by the league's decision."