San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson continued to roll Saturday afternoon as he was named second star of the game.
But his streak of eight games with an assist will come to a screeching halt because of a suspension for an unpenalized hit that knocked the Los Angeles Kings’ Austin Wagner out of the game.
The NHL’s department of player safety on Sunday announced a two-game suspension for Karlsson for an illegal hit to the head.
The two-time Norris Trophy winner knocked Wagner woozy on the second-period play. The Kings player was spun around, hit the ice and got up but was wobbly as he skated to the bench. He eventually went to the dressing room and didn’t return.
Karlsson, who had previously been fined once in his career, will forfeit nearly $70,000 in pay.
He said he was sorry that Wagner didn’t finish the game and wished him well, but he also thought that the hit was clean.
“I have a clear conscience on my part,” Karlsson told reporters on Sunday before he served the first game of his suspension. “I think I did everything within the rules, but unfortunately, some people didn’t think that.”
The defenseman had two assists in Saturday’s game, giving him 10 since his assist streak began on Dec. 7.
Karlsson was acquired from the Ottawa Senators in September and got off to a slow start. Even with the assist streak, he has been held to two goals after totaling 74 from 2013-17.