The Capitals may face their first disciplinary hearing of the season on Saturday after defenseman John Erskine knocked Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds out of Friday night’s game with an elbow to the face.
The incident occurred late in the first period when Erskine came up high with his right elbow in the Caps’ offensive zone. Simmonds lay on the ice for a few seconds before skating slowly to the Flyers bench.
Erskine and Simmonds were not made available after the game.
Simmonds suffered a bloody nose from the hit and had cotton swabs in his nose before he left the game and did not return with what the Flyers called an upper body injury.
“Obviously he’s got a head injury and a little bit of a whiplash going on right now,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said.
“When I saw it live I thought it was two guys colliding. When I saw the replay I don’t know why his elbow went up, but it did. I don’t think John’s that kind of player. I don’t think he’s a dirty player. Those things happen.”
Erskine does not have a suspension history and was not penalized on the play.
On the ensuing faceoff the Flyers’ Zac Rinaldo dropped the gloves with Capitals left wing Matt Hendricks. Because the fight occurred before the puck was dropped for the faceoff the two combatants were given a game misconduct, leaving both teams with 11 forwards for the remainder of the game.
“They said they fought before the puck dropped,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “But if you look at the replay I think they got tricked in a sense because the two centermen went for the draw and it was a false start.”
Erskine’s hit did not look as blatant as the elbow Nicklas Backstrom took to the face from Rene Bourque last season. That hit warranted a five-game suspension and shelved Backstrom for 40 games with a concussion.