Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall has been issued a one-game suspension for his hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, the NHL announced Tuesday. He will miss Game 7 of the teams' first-round playoff series.
Late in the second period of Monday's Game 6, Kronwall led with his forearm and hit Kucherov up high, knocking his helmet off. No penalty was called.
"It was on that part of the ice that I didn't see," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told reporters after the game, according to the Detroit Free Press. "The refs didn't call a penalty, so it must've been OK."
The NHL said the hit resulted in "significant head contact" and differs from other hard hits levied by Kronwall in the past, noting that Kronwall "launched" into the hit and left the ice with both feet before contact.
Kronwall, 34, averages more ice time per game (23:50) than any other Detroit skater. He leads all Red Wings defensemen with 44 points.
The winner of Wednesday's Game 7 will go on to face the Montreal Canadiens in the second round.
- Dan Gartland