Anaheim Ducks winger Jarkko Ruutu has been suspended one game for his blindside hit to Nashville Predators winger Martin Erat in Wednesday night's Western Conference playoff game.
During the second period of Anaheim's 6-3 win, Ruutu tagged Erat in the neutral zone with what appeared to be a hit to the head. Erat went down immediately and lay on the ice for a few minutes before slowly get up with help. He went to the locker room and did not return. The team said he suffered an upper body injury.
Ruutu received a minor interference penalty on the play.
"It's just a hockey hit. It wasn't in the head or anything," Ruutu said following the game. "I wanted to get near him. Just at the last second, he turned into me. It's a hockey hit. I actually saw his eyes."
Ruutu received a two-game suspension on Nov. 11, 2008 for elbowing Maxim Lapierre and another two-game suspension on Jan. 7, 2009 for biting the glove of Buffalo Sabres forward Andrew Peters.
The two teams go head-to-head in Game 5 on Friday at 10pm et/7pm pt on TSN.