Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri took justice into his own hands Tuesday when New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren laid a controversial hit on Kadri's teammate.
With just under four minutes to play in the first period, Lindgren leveled Colorado's Joonas Donskoi after Donskoi had dumped the puck into his attacking zone at the red line. He appeared to make contact with Donskoi's head and sent the forward to the ice, injured. When the on-ice officials did not call a penalty on the play, Kadri tracked down Lindgren and challenged him to a fight.
— Michael Spencer (@MichaelCBS4) January 8, 2020
Kadri threw at least a dozen punches during the fairly one-sided bout and bloodied Lindgren before the linesmen pulled the two apart. The veteran Avalanche center added 17 penalty minutes to his team-leading total (which now stands at 77) for his actions on the play which included a two-minute minor for instigating, a five-minute major for fighting and a 10-minute game misconduct for instigating as well.
As for Donskoi, he did not return to the game after Lindgren's hit and Avalanche coach Jared Bednar had no update on his status when the game ended. Similarly, Lindgren did not return to the game after his fight with Kadri; the Rangers listed him as out with an upper-body injury.
Bednar criticized the referees' decision not to call a penalty on Lindgren's initial hit that sparked the whole incident.
“There’s no call. We have to take care of ourselves," he said.
Lindgren had a hearing with the NHL's department of player safety Wednesday to determine whether he would receive supplemental punishent for the hit; in an unusual move, the department chose not to hand out any additional punishment.
(2/2) While there was significant head contact on this play, Lindgren took a proper angle of approach, did not extend outward or upward and hit through Donskoi’s core. Therefore, under Rule 48.1 (i), the head contact was determined to be unavoidable.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) January 8, 2020
Kadri finished the game a minus-one, with 14 minutes and 39 seconds of ice time. The Rangers won Tuesday's contest, 5-3, at Madison Square Garden.