Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds left Friday’s game against the Washington Capitals in the first period after sustaining an elbow to the head from defenseman John Erskine.
Erskine stuck his elbow out to check Simmonds while both were pursuing a loose puck. The hit stopped play with 1:46 left in the period as Simmonds remained on the ice and received medical attention, but Erskine did not receive a penalty.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said after the game that Simmonds did not suffer a concussion or broken nose, while coach Peter Laviolette called the hit dirty, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio.
Holmgren says Simmonds has a "head injury" with whiplash. No broken nose. No concussion as of now. Laviolette called it a dirty hit.—
Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) February 02, 2013
While Simmonds was treated on the bench, teammate Zac Rinaldo retaliated by going after Washington’s Matt Hendricks before the ensuing faceoff. Rinaldo later called the hit “improper,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Sam Carchidi.
Many reporters speculated that Erskine would receive a suspension from Department of Player Safety head Brendan Shanahan. As Yahoo! Sports’ Greg Wyshysnki pointed out, Rene Bourque was suspended for five games for a similar hit on Nicklas Backstrom last season.
The Capitals won the game, 3-2.