NEWARK, N.J. -- For Devils coach Peter DeBoer, there was no other way to interpret the hit to the head of defenseman Anton Volchenkov from Rangers forward Brandon Prust during the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday afternoon.
"Headhunting," DeBoer said. "Plain and simple."
Volchenkov was carrying the puck along the boards and chipped it out of the zone when Prust landed an elbow to the back of Volchenkov's helmet during New York's 3-0 win. Volchenkov, who was down on the ice for almost a minute afterward, discussed the hit with reporters in the Devils' locker room.
"It was a pretty dirty hit in the head," Volchenkov said. "I stayed on the bench. It was a pretty hard hit to the head, but I was still able to finish the game."
Prust admitted he thinks the play could be reviewed by the League before this series resumes Monday night at Prudential Center.
"I'm sure they might," he told reporters. "Like I said, there was no intent. I didn't even think it was that hard. I didn't even feel it. I didn't even know I did it, really."
The Rangers lost Carl Hagelin for three games during the conference quarterfinals for a similar incident against the Ottawa Senators. Hagelin was suspended for his elbow to the head of Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson during Game 2. Alfredsson left that game with a concussion and did not return to the series until Game 6.