Washington Capitals forward Troy Brouwer maintains he was trying to avoid Derek Stepan during a third-period collision between the two that sent the New York Rangers forward to the ice.
The collision occurred in the neutral zone as the Capitals were moving the puck up the ice early in the third period of Wednesday’s game.
Brouwer was cutting across the ice when he collided into the back of Stepan, as Stepan was backing through the neutral zone. (Click here to see the video)
It was reported after the game that Stepan, visibly shaken up on the play, had to go through the concussion protocol. He left the game, but returned later.
“I pride myself on being an honest player and tried to get out of the way,” said Brouwer, as reported by Katie Carrera of The Washington Post.
Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t buying it.
“The referee said that it was accidental contact and…I just looked at the replay there. If he (Brouwer) couldn’t see him (Stepan) there, I don’t know what else he was looking at,” Vigneault told reporters afterward.
“Obviously the principle point of contact was the head, so, we’ll see.”