May 28, 2014 - 11:29 AM
NEW YORK, N.Y. - The NHL has scheduled a hearing today into Rangers defenceman John Moore's hit on Montreal forward Dale Weise (WEECE) in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final.
Moore was given a major penalty and ejected from Tuesday night's game at Montreal's Bell Centre when, at 10:41 of the third period, he nailed Weise with a blindside open-ice hit that was almost identical to Montreal forward Brandon Prust's unpenalized hit on Derek Stepan in Game 3.
Prust, who had been suspended once before by the league, was subsequently given a two-game ban for the late check, which the NHL deemed as interference.
Stepan's jaw was broken by Prust's hit but the Rangers' centre returned to action Tuesday after undergoing surgery, and scored two goals while wearing a chin guard.
Weise's helmet was knocked off after Tuesday night's hit and he was wobbly when he got up, with teammate P.K. Subban grabbing him in a bear hug for support.
He left for treatment but returned to the bench late in the period.
"The league will do what it has to do," New York coach Alain Vigneault said of the Moore hit after the game, won 7-4 by Montreal. "John is not the type of person who would try to hurt someone, but it was a late hit."
The NHL department of player safety said the hearing was into an illegal check to the head.
Moore plays on New York's third defensive pairing with Kevin Klein.
The win staved off elimination for Montreal, narrowing the Rangers' lead in the series to three games to two. Game 6 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
The series has already seen two suspensions — New York's Dan Carcillo was banned for 10 games for jostling a linesman in the wake of the Prust hit.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014