PHILADELPHIA -- If you’re looking for Harry Zolnierczyk at the 36th Flyers Wives Fight for Lives carnival tomorrow and you don’t see him, he may have had to step out to take a phone call.
That call is coming at some point – with Zolnierczyk talking with NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan after a nasty hit left defenseman Mike Lundin not knowing which direction was up.
Zolnierczyk leveled Lundin at 9:13 of the first period and was assessed a major for charging and a game misconduct. Lundin never returned to the game after being knocked woozy.
Replays show that Zolnierczyk stayed low and had good form heading into his hit, but he may have left his feet and made contact with Lundin’s head, which is a no-no in the NHL anymore.
This came just three days after Zolnierczyk went for a similar hit on Washington’s Mathieu Perrault, but missed and ended up colliding with him knee-to thigh instead.
The league chose not to review that hit by Zolnierczyk, but this one has reached the league radar.
Zolnierczyk declined to comment until after a ruling was made tomorrow, but that didn’t stop there being differing opinions on the hit.
“You know, you look at it like Harry didn’t really do anything wrong as he was lining up he didn’t take strides, everything was down, his arms were down and it was just an impact,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “It made a loud noise, sometimes the hits that make the loud noise get looked at, It appeared going into the hit that everything was in check.”
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean saw it a little differently.
“I thought it was the proper call and the proper circumstances will be taken by the league and repercussions should come from the league according to what they think,” he said.
As for Zac Rinaldo, who ended up fighting Kaspars Daugavins immediately after the hit, he thought there was a certain attractiveness to the hit.
“I said it was beautiful,” Rinaldo said. “From my eyes I thought it was beautiful. I thought it was a great hit, but I only saw it for a split second.”
Speaking of Rinaldo, he was a pest for the Flyers all night, and he drew two power play chances for his team.
First, he got mixed up with three Senators and drew a roughing penalty on Zack Smith. Then later, after running Chris Phillips into the boards, he drew a cross-checking major from the usually docile Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson also got a game misconduct. It was only the second major penalty for Alfredsson in his illustrious career.
“I think everyone is gunning for me sometimes, but that is just my mindset,” Rinaldo said. “I think it was pretty cool that Danny Alfredsson came after me. I always watched him growing up so I think it was pretty cool.”
Here are some tidbits from the game:
- The Flyers had 22 shots in a second period for the second time this season. They did it at Toronto on February 11.
- The Flyers had another perfect game on the penalty kill, going 5-for-5. They are 61-for-66 in the last 16 games (92.4 percent). They have been perfect in four consecutive games (15 for 15) and in 10 of the last 12 games overall.
- The Flyers were credited with 34 hits in the game, with Luke Schenn recording six, Brayden Schenn recording five, and Wayne Simmonds and Braydon Coburn four each. Rinaldo was also credited with four hits, doing so in 6:44 of ice time. The Flyers have had 30 or more hits in four of their last five games. Luke Schenn is now fourth in the NHL (86) and Rinaldo is fifth (83).
- Claude Giroux recorded nine shots on goal and had an additional five that didn’t reach the net (four blocked, one miss). He was also credited with three hits and was 16-for-30 (53 percent) on faceoffs. His six-game scoring streak came to an end.
-Nick Grossmann had five more blocked shots stretching his NHL lead to 66, eight more than the next-best player (Greg Zanon, COL)
- Jake Voracek resumed his scoring pace with a goal after being held pointless on Wednesday to end a six-game scoring streak. He now has six goals and nine assists for 15 points in his last eight games.
- Wayne Simmonds recorded the game-winning goal for the second consecutive game and for the third time in the last four games.
- Ilya Bryzgalov earned his 200th career NHL victory.
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