Philadelphia Flyers forward Daniel Carcillo received a one-game suspension on Thursday for his blow to the head of Pittsburgh's Maxime Talbot late in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
Carcillo will sit out Game 2 on Friday night at Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena. He'll likely be replaced by rookie defenceman Luca Sbisa, according to Flyers coach John Stevens.
Stevens was also fined $10,000 US in connection with the incident, which occurred with seven seconds left in the Penguins' 4-1 victory on Wednesday night.
Carcillo delivered a shot to Talbot's head directly off a faceoff. Talbot wasn't hurt and Carcillo wasn't penalized for the hit.
"We held a conference call Monday with the general managers and coaches of playoff teams and told them explicitly we would not tolerate attempts by clubs to 'send a message' late in a game when the outcome had been determined," said Colin Campbell, the NHL's senior executive vice president of hockey operations.
"Organizations — players and coaches — will be held accountable for such actions."
Carcillo, who had an NHL-high 254 penalty minutes in 74 games this season with the Flyers and Phoenix Coyotes, had a hearing with Campbell via telephone on Thursday.
Speaking to reports after practice, he denied using his stick to hit Talbot in the head.
"The ref came up to me and said not to do anything,'' Carcillo said. "It would be pretty dumb for me to butt-end somebody in the back of the head — which I didn't do.''
Sbisa, who split the season between the Flyers and the Lethbridge Hurricanes, has not played in the NHL since Jan. 31.
Stevens said he'll likely use Sbisa as a fourth-line forward.
"He's played a little up front before," the coach said. "He did a great job; he's a pretty versatile guy."