Heavyweight enforcer Trevor Gillies played for the first time since serving a nine-game ban for his elbow on Penguins winger Eric Tangradi February 11, but didn’t last long.
Gillies, 32, was ejected after a game misconduct assessed for his hit on Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck in the second period. He played only four shifts and 1:51 before leaving the ice.
Gillies smashed Clutterbuck into the boards after Clutterback's hit on Islanders forward Justin DiBenedetto. Clutterbuck received a minor boarding penalty while Gillies received a five-minute major for hitting from behind and a game misconduct.
"I went over and finished my hit. There was no intent at all to injure him," Gillies said after the game. " I saw him hit [DiBenedetto] and I just made a hit on him. That's it."
Both Gillies and coach Jack Capuano said they didn't think Clutterbuck's back was fully turned.
"I didn't think it was from behind at all," Gillies said.. " I hit him from the side."
Given his status as a repeat offender, he is likely to face supplementary discipline from the league in the form of a fine or suspension.
"I'm sure I've got a little bit of a target [on my back], but that's for the league to decide."