Edmonton winger Zack Kassian kicked Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak in the chest, blade first, during the first period of Thursday's game.
Cernak was briefly sitting on Kassian and Kassian's teammate Josh Archibald. But as Kassian pushed himself free, he aimed the kick at Cernak to get Cernak off his teammate.
"He was holding my leg, it was reactionary, I was just trying to get him off me, kick him off me. I was just trying to get my foot loose,” Kassian told reporters afterward. “If I kicked him hard, I think he would have flew back or the ref would have called a penalty.