New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings will be without top- line defenseman Niklas Kronwall for Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning after the NHL suspended him for an illegal hit on forward Nikita Kucherov.
The NHL announced the suspension Tuesday, saying Kronwall left his skates and "launched into" the hit on Kucherov in the second period of Game 6 on Monday night, making "significant contact" with his head.
Kronwall delivered the hit near the right boards just after Kucherov released a pass, driving his forearm into Kucherov's face and sending him back onto the ice.
Kucherov's helmet came off after he hit the ice, but he remained in the game. He was eligible to be checked on the play, the NHL said, but the league said Kronwall was guilty of charging.
Kronwall was not penalized on the play and has never been suspended or fined in his 11-year NHL career.
The Lightning won the game 5-2, forcing Game 7 in Tampa on Wednesday night.