Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny made a strong play in the offensive zone, which led to a goal by Madison Bowey.
But in the corner, Kempny took a high and, arguably, dirty hit from Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, forcing the Stanley Cup-winner out of the remainder of the game.
Kempny was hit 45 seconds into the third period. Bortuzzo’s left forearm strikes Kempny in the side of the head.
Kempny crumpled to the ice — his head slamming the ice — necessitating a visit by Capitals head trainer Jason Serbus.
A woozy Kempny would eventually get up and make his way off the ice with the help of his teammates. Kempny even flashed a smile after Evgeny Kuznetsov made a joke.
Bortuzzo did not receive a penalty on the play.
Suspension would be my guess. This one, not even a penalty. https://t.co/8K8Xn4fVre
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) September 26, 2018
Minutes after the hit happened, the Capitals announced that Kempny would not return with an upper-body injury and miss the rest of the third period.
#Caps Michal Kempny (upper body) will not return to tonight’s game.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) September 26, 2018
Capitals forward Tom Wilson would avenge the hit and fight Bortuzzo six minutes later.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 26, 2018
After the game, head coach Todd Reirden had no update on Kempny’s condition.
“He’s still being looked at so I’ll have an update for you tomorrow,” Reirden said.
Kempny helped solidify the Capitals defense in the playoffs after being acquired by general manager Brian MacLellan at the deadline. Over the offseason, the Caps re-signed Kempny to a four-year, $10 million contract.
Update 10:30am: Bortuzzo’s hit on Kempny got a second look from the league.
Good morning! I'm told Bortuzzo's high hit on Michal Kempny is being closely looked at by the league. Could result in a player safety hearing for the Blues defenseman.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) September 26, 2018
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