Couture Hurt as Sharks, Senators Get Chippy

OTTAWA – There was no immediate update on Sharks forward Logan Couture, who left Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime win over the Senators after getting whacked in the head by the stick shaft of Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman.

The Ottawa forward was given a five-minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct at 7:50 of the third period when he hit Couture, who was cutting through the offensive zone slot. Couture did not return, and coach Pete DeBoer offered no update on his condition, declining to say if Couture would accompany the team on its postgame flight to Montreal.

Brenden Dillon had the best view of the incident, immediately grabbing and challenging Hoffman.

“Logan just finished his check with me and then he skated across, and [he got] cross-checked right in the back of his head,” Dillon said. “I don’t know what [Hoffman] was really thinking on that. Hopefully [Couture is] OK. I haven’t seen him yet since we finished the game.”

DeBoer said he “didn’t like” the hit. “We’ll see. Hopefully [Couture] is alright.”

The hit could have been payback for an earlier incident, when Marc-Edouard Vlasic may have speared Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson in the corner late in second period. Ottawa coach Guy Boucher was livid after the play, and Senators forward Kyle Turris went after Vlasic at the next stoppage.

Turris received a fighting major, as did Vlasic, as well as an instigator and 10-minute misconduct at 19:40 of the middle frame.

When told that the Ottawa bench was upset over the play, Vlasic said: "Why? I grabbed my own stick."

“He grabs my stick, and I'm yanking it from him. … Why would you grab my stick? If you're holding onto my stick, I'm grabbing it from you, and whatever happens…

“I have no idea what happened. I just pulled it from and started skating, and I didn't even know it was Karlsson.”

DeBoer offered his take, as well.

“I watched a little bit of the replay. It looked like they were tied up in the corner and [Vlasic] was trying to wrench his stick loose, and might have clipped him trying to pull his stick out of there. … I didn’t see anything more than that.”

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