UNIONDALE, N.Y., April 28 (UPI) -- The New York Islanders will be without captain Michael Peca and defenseman Kenny Jonsson for the rest of the playoffs.
Both players were the victims of hard hits in New York's 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night in Game Five of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Peca has a torn ligament in his left knee as a result of a low-bridge check by Toronto's Darcy Tucker in the second period, and Jonsson suffered a concussion and neck strain after being crunched into the boards from behind by Gary Roberts in the first period.
Islanders General Manager Mike Milbury believes Tucker's low hit on Peca was intentional.
"It was clearly low," Milbury said of the check, which did not result in a penalty. "He (Tucker) knew exactly what he wanted to do. He told us he was going to do it."
Islanders Coach Peter Laviolette was especially incensed with the hit from behind which knocked out Jonsson, who has had a history of concussions. Jonsson lay motionless for three minutes while Roberts was assessed a major penalty for charging.
"The hit on Jonsson should go in the same category as Kyle McLaren's hit (Thursday night)," Laviolette said.
Boston defenseman Kyle McLaren was suspended, pending a hearing, for a vicious elbow of Montreal's Richard Zednik Thursday night in Game Four of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
The Maple Leafs are playing without their captain Mats Sundin, who is sidelined for the rest of the postseason with a broken left wrist, which may have resulted from a slash by Peca earlier in the series.
The Maple Leafs lead the best-of-seven series, three games to two. Game Six is Sunday night at Uniondale.