NHL to review Kunitz hit

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:15 AM ET

TAMPA BAY - The beleaguered NHL office has not had to worry about rough stuff in the Tampa Bay - Pittsburgh series. Until now.

They will be looking into a clear cut elbow by the Pens’ Chris Kunitz on Simon Gagne in Monday’s 3-2 Pittsburgh win and a heavy jolt launched by Steve Downie on Ben Lovejoy earlier in the game. Downie has cleaned up his bad boy image to a degree, but is still on the league’s radar, while everyone is sensitive to Gagne’s injury history. Kunitz was going after Gagne as well.

“The referee saw it and came over and asked me if I was okay,” Gagne said. “You see it pretty good on the replay.

“There’s a rule now in place for a hit to the head - no elbows. If you look at the replay, he’s not even close to me and he just extended his elbow. Now it’s up the league. Nothing I can do about it. I’m just glad I’m okay.”

Downie left his feet, though Lovejoy wasn’t convinced he meant real harm.

“You have to be aware when he is on the ice,” Lovejoy said, his pain lessened by an assist on a Max Talbot goal and the Pens’ 3-2 win. “It was a good hit, though I haven’t seen (a replay). He certainly didn’t get me in the head, he put his shoulder right into my chest.”


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