Gudbranson ejected for hammering Hartnell

Scott Hartnell, on the ice, of the Flyers was hammered by Florida Panthers defenceman Erik Gudbranson during an Oct. 8 game in Philadelphia. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)

Florida Panthers defenceman Erik Gudbranson could find himself in a bit of trouble with the NHL Department of Player Safety after he was ejected for hitting Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell from behind Tuesday.

The hit occurred midway through the third period of a 2-1 Flyers victory in the team’s first game since firing head coach Peter Laviolette.

Gudbranson drove Hartnell into the boards as the two skated for a loose puck in the Panthers’ end. Hartnell did not immediately get up and was examined by medical staff on the ice before skating off on his own power.

Hartnell eventually returned to the game, while Gudbranson was assessed a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct.

Gudbranson, drafted third overall by the Panthers in the 2010 NHL Draft, has never been suspended by the NHL in his brief professional career.

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