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Mike Kostka likely injured after illegal hit to head by Douglas Murray

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mike Kostka may miss some time after being injured following an illegal check to the head by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray.

Kostka carried the puck into the offensive zone and had his head up as Murray closed the gap and landed the hit, making contact squarely with Kostka’s head with both his shoulder and elbow:

GIF: Awful hit by Douglas Murray on Kostka on Twitpic

Murray was issued a match penalty for the hit, and Tampa Bay went on to win the contest 3-1, as the penalty all but eliminated Montreal’s chance for a comeback by putting the Bolts on the power play for the remainder of regulation.

Murray’s match penalty for an illegal check to the head comes with an automatic, indefinite suspension pending a hearing by the NHL player safety department.

With these two teams all but destined to meet in the playoffs, the hit adds another thread to follow as the playoff narratives start to materialize. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, they may end up without a depth defenseman, and for the Habs, it may be a case of addition by subtraction by losing Murray for a period of time.

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