Nashville Predators forward Alexander Radulov was slapped with a one-game suspension on Saturday after hitting San Jose's Steve Bernier from behind on Friday night.
Radulov was ejected during the second period in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarter-final Friday, a 5-2 win for the Predators in Nashville, after he elbowed Bernier into the boards, snapping the winger's head back beforeBernier fell face first to the ice.
Bernier was motionless for several minutes and later helped off by teammates Joe Thornton and Marcel Goc. Bernier did not return to the game as a preventive measure, and had his head and neck X-rayed.
Radulov was given a checking from behind major and a game misconduct, the second time in as many contests that a Predator player was ejected from a game. Teammate Scott Hartnell was tossed from Game 1 of the series on Wednesday.
The loss of the 20-year-old Radulov is a big blow for the Predators, as the Russian sniper has three goals and an assist in the first two games of the playoffs.
Radulov will sit out Game 3 of the series, which is tied 1-1, on Monday and is eligible to return for Game 4 Wednesday in San Jose.
Hartnell will not receive an automatic one-game suspension for earning his second game misconduct of the playoffs after the NHL reviewed the game tape of Friday night's contest.
They league ruled that Hartnell was involved in a primary altercation — and not a secondary fight — during the waning minutes of the third period, and that his equipment was tied down properly before it was torn off.
If not for both misconducts being wiped out, Hartnell would have had a total of three in the post-season and been forced to sit out the next two games in the Western Conference quarter-final.
Instead, Hartnell will be eligible to play in Game 3 of the series in San Jose.
After Friday's game, San Jose coach Ron Wilson stormed into the post-game news conference, irate over the hit on Bernier.
"I have no comment," Wilson said before walking out of the room.
The Sharks were still furious over the knee-on-knee hit by Hartnell in Game 1 that injured their leading scorer, Jonathan Cheechoo.