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Kassian explains why he kicked Cernak right in the chest

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A controversial move took place last night in the game between the Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Midway through the second period, Oilers forward Zack Kassian got tangled up with Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak and kicked him in the chest.

Blade out, straight in the stomach, Kassian did not seem to hesitate and went on playing. After the game, he explained why he pulled the dangerous move. 

“That play he was holding my leg and it was just reactionary. I just tried to get loose. I was laying there awhile and I was trying to get my leg out and get moving.”

While it may be reactionary, the NHL Player Safety looked at the incident right away and will hold an in person hearing with Kassian. This means he could get a six-game or more suspension for his actions. 

When asked about the kick he received, Cernak had this to say after the game: 

“I think he was a little bit mad. I asked him what was wrong with him? Because that’s not the right play, what to do on the ice. He didn’t say nothing. So I don’t know. Lucky it wasn’t higher.”

Lucky indeed…