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Rangers' John Moore to meet with NHL about his Wild hit

John Moore of the New York Rangers skates

John Moore of the New York Rangers skates away after taking a match penalty with a hit to Erik Haula of the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden on October 27, 2014. Credit: Getty Images

The NHL's Department of Player Safety will interview Rangers defenseman John Moore this afternoon after his head shot on the Wild's Erik Haula on Monday.

An in-person hearing gives the league the option of a six-game suspension or longer. The Rangers do not play again until Saturday.

Moore, who did not speak to the media after practice Tuesday, drew a match penalty and was ejected in the second period of the Rangers' 5-4 win at Madison Square Garden.

In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Montreal, Moore was suspended for two games for a hit that struck the head of Dale Weise.

On Monday, Moore's left arm and elbow struck Haula high, and the forward lay on the ice for a minute before leaving. He did not return.

Minnesota coach Mike Yeo told reporters that Haula did not have a concussion, but doctors held him out of the Wild's game Tuesday night in Boston as a precaution.

The Rangers have been playing down one regular defenseman all season. Veteran Dan Boyle broke his hand in the opener in St. Louis and has not even begun skating.

They are carrying one spare defenseman, Michael Kostka, who has appeared in just one game, a 6-3 loss to the Islanders on Oct. 14.

Kostka, a free agent who was signed in the offseason, made two own-zone turnovers that led directly to goals.

Although it is likely that the Rangers will summon another defenseman from the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack, it did not happen Tuesday.

Meanwhile, forward Chris Kreider, who was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for his hit on defenseman Jonas Brodin late in the first period, avoided any extra discipline from the league.

Kreider said he was thankful that Brodin, who later returned to the game, wasn't injured and admitted that he had "to be more careful at times."

But, he said, "I can't play the game slow, I can't not get in on the forecheck . . . That's something I can kind of be aware of going forward and obviously try to avoid because I want to play. I don't want to be kicked out of the game. But at the same time, I've got to keep moving my feet and keep trying to initiate contact on the forecheck. And I have to keep on driving the net hard because it's how I play."

Kreider said he was "a little bit surprised" by the penalties. "I didn't see it as a boarding, it was so far off the wall," he said. "I'm trying to get the puck. There are 20, 15 seconds left, I have a chance to pin them, maybe get a shot. I feel him pulling up and so I turn my body sideways trying not to go completely through him but at the same time get a piece of him . . . Basically missing the entire game, I think, was discipline enough."

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