Capitals defenseman John Erkskine was suspended three games for elbowing. (Andy Marlin/NHL/Getty Images)
The NHL suspended Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine for three games for elbowing Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in the head on Friday night, the league announced.
NHL VP of player safety Brendan Shanahan made the announced Saturday night and said that Erskine "recklessly" elbowed the Simmonds in the first period of the Capitals' 3-2 victory. Shanahan also said that there was "no malicious intent" on Erskine's behalf on the play.
Shanahan noted that Erskine was not a repeat offender and that Simmonds was injured on the play and did not return. No penalty was called on the play, but Shanahan said it was a clear example of elbowing.
Erskine, 32, will miss Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tuesday's contest with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Thursday night's tilt at Pittsburgh against the Penguins. Tom Poti is expected to replace him in the lineup Sunday.