Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba has been suspended two games by the NHL for his hit on Lars Eller in Thursday's win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the two teams' Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, according to TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie (via Twitter).
Two game suspension for OTT's Eric Gryba.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 3, 2013
Eller was hit by Gryba in the second period of Thursday's game and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, leaving behind a bloody scene. He was released from the hospital on Friday, according to the team via ESPN.com.
I stepped up to make a hit. I kept my shoulder down. He received the puck by the time I hit him. My elbow was down and there was no intent to hurt him whatsoever and I hope that he's OK. I'm not out here to hurt anybody and it's never good seeing anything like that. I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.
The 23-year-old center suffered a concussion along with facial fractures from the devastating hit. Obviously, Eller won't be available to play for the Canadiens in Game 2, which is a notable loss considering that the fourth-year player had poured in eight goals and dished out 22 assists this season for Montreal, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Thursday's game was tied at 1-1 before Gryba's hit. The Senators outscored the Canadiens 3-1 over the final 26 minutes, winning 4-2 to steal home-ice advantage away from Montreal.
The 25-year-old Gryba spent just over eight minutes on the ice before he was assessed a game misconduct penalty and sent off following the hit to Eller. His two-game suspension would keep him out of Friday's Game 2 in Montreal and Game 3 Sunday night in Ottawa.
Game 2 between the Senators and Canadiens is scheduled for Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.
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