NEW YORK -- The Ottawa Senators lost captain Daniel Alfredsson on Saturday night after a blow to the head from New York Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin during Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.
Alfredsson left the game during the second period and did not return. The Rangers, meanwhile, may be without Hagelin, who was assessed a five-minute major for elbowing on the play, for Game 3 on Monday night in Ottawa. Hagelin is scheduled to have a hearing with the NHL on Sunday afternoon.
Rangers coach John Tortorella said afterward Saturday night's 3-2 overtime loss that Hagelin shouldn't be suspended for the hit, citing a similar penalized elbow from Senators defenseman Chris Phillips to the head of Rangers captain Ryan Callahan.
"If we lose Hags for a game or two," Tortorella said, "Phillips should be a game or two."
Senators coach Paul MacLean offered no update following the Senators' series-tying victory, but his teammates felt the loss despite the comeback win.
"It's a big blow to us. He's our leader," center Zenon Konopka said. "He's been so great for us this year. But I think it was more motivation for us. We wanted to win for Alfie. He's pulled some games out for us, so we wanted to return the favor and hopefully he'll be alright."
The play occurred at 10:32 of the second period. Hagelin went in on the forecheck and drove Alfredsson into the boards in the corner to the left of Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson. Hagelin was assessed a five-minute major for elbowing, and defenseman Erik Karlsson scored on the ensuing power play to tie the game 1-1.
After the game, Hagelin explained the play from his point of view.
"I tried to finish the hit, and he kind of stopped when it happened," Hagelin said. "I haven't seen the replay, but there was no intention from me to try to hurt him.
I was just trying to finish the check so he could beat me up the ice. Of course I'm not trying to get a penalty ever. I'm trying to get in there and get a body hit. If the refs called it a five, it's a five."
It's the second time this season Alfredsson left the game after a blow to the head against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Wojtek Wolski, now with the Florida Panthers, collided with Alfredsson midway through the period in a game on Oct. 27. Wolski was assessed a penalty for an illegal check to the head, and the Senators used the incident as motivation their 5-4 comeback win.
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