James Neal injury: Del Zotto "braced himself" during big hit

Justin K. Aller

The New York Rangers defenseman says he's unclear of exactly what happened on the play that left James Neal dazed on the ice.

Pittsburgh Penguins star winger James Neal left Friday's shootout win over the New York Rangers with what appears to be, at the very least, a head injury suffered from a Michael Del Zotto elbow to the chin.

On the play, Del Zotto and Neal with both racing for the puck with the Penguins on the forecheck. Both players arrived at the puck at the same time and as Del Zotto appeared to brace himself for a big hit, Neal attempted to side step his way around a possible hit.

This resulted in an hard elbow from Del Zotto's right arm as it flailed backward, colliding with Neal's chin. After the game, Del Zotto says he was bracing himself for a hit and doesn't know what really happened next.

"I think they just dumped (the puck) in, and I knew I was going to get hit on the forecheck," Del Zotto said. "I just tried to kind of reverse hit and brace myself. I'm not sure exactly what happened."

You can see video of the hit below:

Del Zotto tells Andrew Gross of the NJ Record that he has not yet heard from the NHL about any possible disciplinary action from the league.

There was no update on Neal's status after the game.

More in the NHL:

Every deadline day trade

Grading the trading

Pitkanen injury renews hybrid icing debate

Why puck possession matters

The best of our hockey network

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.