MONTREAL -- New York Rangers defenseman John Moore has a hearing scheduled Wednesday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise in the third period of Eastern Conference Final Game 5 on Tuesday.
Moore received a match penalty at 10:41 of the third for his hit that knocked off Weise's helmet. A match penalty carries an automatic suspension from further competition until Commissioner Gary Bettman rules on the issue, according to Rule 21 of the NHL Rulebook.
Weise's helmet popped off and he appeared wobbly as he tried to get up, enough so that Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban had to hold him up before he skated to the bench.
Weise left the game briefly, but Montreal coach Michel Therrien said he saw the team doctors and "they felt he was good to go." He returned 4:30 after the hit and played three more shifts in the Canadiens' 7-4 victory that extended their season.
The Rangers have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series with Game 6 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
"First of all, I thought it was the right call on the ice," Therrien said of Moore's hit and match penalty. "We all saw it. We all saw it on the ice and saw the different angle on the TV after the game. They'll [the League] decide what they're going to do after."
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault defended Moore by saying he is "definitely not the type of player to try to hurt someone." Vigneault, though, did not take issue with the match penalty.
"It was a late hit and it was the right call on the ice," Vigneault said.
If Moore is suspended, Vigneault can replace him in the lineup with either Raphael Diaz or Justin Falk.
Diaz has played two games in place of Moore during the second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Falk hasn't played since the final game of the regular season April 12.