New York Rangers winger Brandon Prust has been suspended for one game by the NHL for his elbow to New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov on Saturday, the league announced Sunday.
As a result, Prust will sit out Monday's Game 4 against the Devils, with the Rangers leading the series 2-1.
Prust received no penalty on the play, which occurred during the Rangers' 3-0 victory, but he had a telephone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan on Sunday morning.
The hit by Prust was at the center of a verbal battle between Devils head coach Pete DeBoer and Rangers coach John Tortorella.
After the game, DeBoer called the hit, "Head-hunting. Plain and simple."
Tortorella was critical of DeBoer's comments on Sunday.
"Prust has played probably 300-plus games without any hearing, anything going on with him. He's probably one of the most honest players," he said.
Tortorella hinted that Capitals players embellish hits to get penalties called.
"Maybe if our players stay down on the ice, we'll get something."
Tortorella said. "We tell our players 'Don't stay down on the ice, get up.' I hope ... I'll leave it at that."
Prust told reporters Sunday he did not intend to hurt the 30-year-old Russian.
"I was trying to rub him out and get off the ice. He bailed on it a bit, turned and went low. It's just kind of a reaction when you're off-balance and your arms go up. I didn't want to do a faceplant into the boards," Prust said. "It was just kind of a reaction. I had no intent to hit him in the head there. There was nothing vicious about it."
Asked whether he thought Volchenkov stayed down on the ice to embellish the hit and earn a penalty, Prust said, "I didn't really hit him that hard, I just kind of grazed his helmet and got his helmet a little bit and it slid up and for sure you're trying to get a penalty when you're helmet comes off. It's just natural. You're going to try to sell it for a power-play."
Prust has one assist in the postseason, and he had five goals and 12 assists during the regular season.