Carkner suspended one game for jumping Boyle

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Matt Carkner #39 of the Ottawa Senators hits Brian Boyle #22 of the New York Rangers which led to his game misconduct penalty in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Shortly after announcing a three-game suspension for Carl Hagelin for his elbow to the head of Daniel Alfredsson, the NHL also announced a one-game suspension to Matt Carkner for jumping Brian Boyle, an unwilling combatant during an altercation on Saturday night.

In his explanation, Brendan Shanahan cited the fact that Carkner was the aggressor, that Boyle wasn't injured, and that Carkner had a rap sheet before the incident.

On the play, Carkner was assessed a two-minute instigator penalty, five minutes for fighting, and a game misconduct.

Honestly, I wasn't initially expecting any supplementary discipline for Carkner, but that's not to say I'm surprised by this--the NHL is no more anxious to see unwilling combatants get pummeled than they are to see elbows to the head (although head-smashes are apparently just fine). One game, on top of the game already served, seems about right.

Still, this all could have been avoided had Boyle simply accepted the challenge issued by Carkner.

Obviously, this means Matt Gilroy will draw into the lineup on Monday night for game three in Ottawa. It will be an exciting game, there's no doubt about that.

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