Detroit Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall delivered a monstrous hit (above) on Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek just inside the Flyers’ blue line Tuesday night.
Voracek was reaching for the puck with his head down when Kronwall leveled him during the second period of the Flyers’ 3-2 victory.
Rattled, Voracek remained on his knees until the next whistle and required assistance to reach to the bench and head for the dressing room. Voracek, who scored a goal before getting hurt, did not return to the game.
The forward needed stitches in his upper and lower mouth. He will be reevaluated by the Flyers on Wednesday.
No penalty was called on the play, as the referees ruled it a clean hit.
“It was a tough hit, he took it right in the head,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told AP after the game. “It’s frustrating. He’s having a terrific year and is a terrific player for us. It’s substantial when you’re battling through a lot of injuries and you take a hit like that.”
Kronwall was interviewed after the game. He believed it to be a clean hit and if the league needs to review, so be it, he told reporters.
“It was a good hit,” Kronwall’s teammate, Brad Stuart, told reporters. “I guess the coaching staffs on the other team need to do a better job scouting because it seems like every night it’s happening. I know if I was a coach, I’d be giving my players a heads up.”
More bad news for the Flyers: Jaromir Jagr also left the game, with hip injury. He, too, will be reevaluated Wednesday.
The Flyers’ next game is at home versus the Florida Panthers on Thursday.