Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith was charged with a five-minute major penalty for interference and ejected from Sunday night’s 3-0 win for a check that caused Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki to lose his balance and crash into the end boards in the third period.
The collision occurred as both players were racing for the puck. Smith said there was no intent to injure, and Alain Vig neault called it “an unfortunate hockey accident.”
“I think it was a bit harsh,” Smith said. “I’m OK with two minutes [for interference] . . . We made eye contact and he was expecting to get hit. He’s a pretty big guy, a strong guy. I kind of just connected with my shoulder. You see those plays happen all the time. It’s just unfortunate, the outcome. You don’t want to see anyone get hurt. Hopefully, he’ll be OK.”
Borowiecki lay still on the ice for several minutes before being helped off by teammates.
“When I look at the replay, it was sort of an accident,” Vigneault said. “Both guys are coming and both are making contact. Seemed to me that Smitty’s helmet might’ve hit part of his head and that’s why he probably lost balance.’’
Live, from New York . . .
The rapper Chance and a cast member portraying Brady Skjei on “Saturday Night Live” drew laughs and a torrent of comments from the Rangers.
In the skit, Chance played a freezing Lazlo Holmes, a Knicks reporter filling in for his hockey colleague. After banter with the studio hosts, he asks an actor wearing a No. 76 jersey for an interview.
“Come on over, dude,” Chance says and asks him to turn to check his name. “That’s an S, a K and a J all next to each other . . . so that’s a no.”
Skjei was watching. “It was hilarious,’’ he said. “I got about 25 texts right away and my Twitter blew up.”
Sort of home for holiday
New Rochelle’s Kevin Shattenkirk joined the Rangers this past summer after spending virtually all of his career in St. Louis. He will be home for Thanksgiving “for the first time in who knows how many years,” he said with a grin. “But my parents will be in Nashville. Go figure.” The McDonaghs have invited him over for dinner.