Lightning’s Alex Killorn ejected for late hit on Brock Nelson

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[UPDATE: Killorn has been suspended one game for the hit.]

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn was ejected from Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night boarding New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson.

The incident happened just five minutes into the first period and resulted in Nelson leaving the game due to injury.

You can see the incident in the video posted above.

Killorn was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit, and it is really not hard to see why. Nelson had already made a play with the puck and no longer had possession of it when Killorn skated in from behind and delivered a needless and reckless hit.

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The hit drove Nelson’s head into the glass and knocked him to the ice where he remained for several moments before leaving for the locker room.

Nelson has been one of the Islanders’ top players this postseason, entering play on Wednesday with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 17 games.

Nelson eventually returned to the game midway through the second period. On his first shift back he was cross-checked from behind head first into the glass by Barclay Goodrow with no penalty called.

After Killorn was ejected, Tampa was left with just 10 forwards for the remainder of the game due to their strategy of dressing seven defensemen. That number went down to nine forwards in the second period when Brayden Point exited the bench.

The Islanders did not score on the ensuing power play despite recording five shots on goal.

The question now becomes whether or not Killorn will miss any additional time for the play, or if the Department of Player Safety will decide that the game misconduct (which takes him out for almost an entire game) will be enough. A lot of that decision could come down to how late the hit is timed to be.

No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 6 New York Islanders (TB leads 2-0)

Series preview
Game 1
: Lightning 8, Islanders 2 (recap)
Game 2: Lightning 2, Islanders 1 (recap)
Game 3: 
Friday, Sept. 11, 8 p.m. ET – USA (livestream)
Game 4: 
Sunday, Sept. 13, 3 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)
*Game 5: 
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 6: 
Thursday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 7: 
Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m. ET – NBC

*if necessary

MORE STANLEY CUP COVERAGE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Final schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.