The Ottawa Senators said on Sunday that captain Daniel Alfredsson is feeling as good as can be expected after enduring his second headshot against the New York Rangers this 2011-12 season, but the club wouldn't commit to saying he'd be able to play Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series on Monday.
Alfredsson was hit in the head while along the boards in the second period by Carl Hagelin of the Rangers in Saturday's heated contest at Madison Square Garden. The veteran did not return for the rest of the night, with Hagelin given a five minute elbowing penalty.
Hagelin on Sunday was suspended three games by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who called it a "reckless" play in his explanation video.
Ottawa defenceman Matt Carkner was given a one-game ban for punching a defenceless Brian Boyle earlier in the heated game.
Shanahan deemed it a "illegal and excessively violent act" and acknowledged Carkner in the past in his career punched an opponent before they were ready, but said the fact Boyle wasn't seriously hurt factored into the decision.
The Rangers released a statement which indicated they won't appeal the Hagelin decision, but expressed displeasure.
" ... we are thoroughly perplexed in the [Hagelin] ruling's inconsistency with other supplementary discipline decisions that have been made throughout this season and during the playoff."
The Rangers seemingly were referring not only to the Carkner ruling, but an incident in Game 1 of the Nashville-Detroit series in which star Predators defenceman Shea Weber was fined but not suspended.
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said Alfredsson, 39, would be re-evaluated on Monday ahead of that night's contest against the Rangers at Scotiabank Place (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET).
The Senators won the game 3-2 in overtime, knotting the Eastern quarter-final 1-1.
The Sens converted on the five minute penalty that Hagelin incurred, with Erik Karlsson scoring.
The 23-year-old Hagelin expressed contrition for the incident before the suspension was handed down, according to the Rangers' Twitter feed.
"I just hope [Alfredsson] is doing well and that he can play tomorrow," said Hagelin, a Swede like Alfredsson. "I never want to hurt anyone on the ice."
Alfredsson missed five games beginning in late October when he was elbowed in the head by Wojtek Wolski, then of the New York Rangers.