Brooks Orpik returned from an undisclosed injury tonight and didn’t waste any time before establishing his physical game, although he accomplished that by delivering a dangerous hit to Rangers forward Brad Richards.
Orpik pushed Richards into the boards next to the Penguins’ bench, smashing the Rangers forward’s head into the turnbuckle. You can see that hit below:
The Rangers took exception to that, but Richards didn’t suffer an injury and Orpik wasn’t penalized for his actions. The story might have been very different a few years ago, before the NHL put rounded glass there.
The league made that change after Montreal’s Max Pacioretty was slammed into the turnbuckle by Boston’s Zdeno Chara in 2011. The Canadiens forward suffered a broken vertebra and a severe concussion as a result of that incident.