Montreal Canadiens defenceman Douglas Murray
has been suspended three games for an elbow to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Mike Kostka
during Tuesday night's 3-1 loss.
With just over two minutes remaining in the third period, Kostka carried the puck over the blue line into the Canadiens' zone when he was met by the raised elbow of Murray. Murray was assessed a match penalty on the play.
On Wednesday, the Lightning announced that Kostka was diagnosed with a concussion and have not yet set a timetable for his return. Coach Jon Cooper said that Kostka is doing well, but has no recollection of the hit.
Though Lightning captain Steven Stamkos
called Murray a “clean, honest player,” he took umbrage with the hit on Kostka.
"But that play was dirty," Stamkos said to the Tampa Bay Times. "That's a flying elbow right to the jaw, and (Kostka) is absolutely knocked out on the ice. I don't think anyone can argue the fact, if they've seen the replay and seen multiple angles of the replay, that was a dirty play."
Murray told Montreal reporters that he never intended to hurt Kostka.
"He's cutting through, and I'm trying to finish my check,” the 34-year-old Swede said. "I don't think I'm a dirty player."
In his nine seasons in the NHL, Murray has never been disciplined by the league.
Murray becomes the 30th player to be suspended during the 2013-14 season and the first Canadien.