New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider has been fined $5,000 for elbowing Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson on Wednesday night.
The incident occurred in the second period of the Canucks' 4-1 win, when Kreider raced down the ice towards Pettersson who had the puck to the left of Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom. Kreider spun ahead of making contact with Pettersson and landed an elbow to his face. He was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for the action.
Pettersson, who immediately dropped to the ice, left the game but did return after clearing the concussion protocol. He defended Kreider post-game, stating he does not believe the 27-year-old is a dirty player.
“I saw he was coming, so I looked away and he lifted his arm and his elbow and got me in the head,” Pettersson said. “Intentional? I don’t know. I don’t think he’s a dirty player and I can’t talk for him. I just did the protocol in case they think it could have been a concussion and that’s why I was off for a bit.
“But my head was feeling fine. I felt normal, but obviously the nose hurt a bit.”
Pettersson is the Canucks leading scorer with 26 goals and 58 points in 59 games this season.
Kreider has never been suspended in his NHL career, and Thursday marked his second career fine.