By amuir29
February 02, 2013

By Allan Muir

John Erskine has always played the game close to the edge, but on Friday night the big, physical defender stepped over the line.

As a result, Erskine will miss the Washington Capitals next three games for his blatant elbow to the head of Philadelphia forward Wayne Simmonds.

In making his ruling Saturday night, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan noted that there was "no malicious intent" and Erskine was just reacting to being beaten at the offensive blueline, but "this was a reckless elbow to the head that caused a serious injury."

Simmonds didn't return after the hit in Washington's 3-2 victory, and was initially said to be suffering from a mild case of whiplash. He's not skating tonight in Philly's game against Carolina and there's no timetable for his return. (UPDATE: Flyers confirm Simmonds suffered a concussion on the play.)

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