New York Rangers centre Blair Betts will miss Game 7 of their playoff series against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night after suffering a broken orbital bone from a hit by Washington's Donald Brashear.
The loss of Betts is huge for the Rangers. Betts is the key to a penalty kill that has frustrated the Capitals throughout the series, and he is the Rangers' best face-off man.
Betts left Game 6 on Sunday half way through the first period after a hard, late hit by Capitals' hit man Brashear.
The series has been nasty from the start. From the Rangers side, Sean Avery took a run at Mike Green in Game One, and Colton Orr tried to injure Niklas Backstrom in Game Two. In Game Five, Rangers' Coach Tortorella even threw a water bottle at a fan (missing and hitting a woman) after fans yelled at him.
For the Capitals, in addition to the Brashear hit, the Rangers have complained that forward Brandon Dubinsky was bitten on the arm by Capitals defenseman Shaone Morrisonn.
The NHL suspended Brashear for Game 7, and five more games after that, but this does little to mitigate news that Ranger fans did not want to hear.