ATLANTA — Ilya Kovalchuk wasn't around for the end of Tuesday's loss to the New York Rangers.
The Atlanta Thrashers' star won't be around for any of Thursday's rematch in New York.
Kovalchuk was suspended for one game without pay on Wednesday for his hit from behind on Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival.
Kovalchuk was ejected with 35.7 seconds left in the first period of the Rangers' 4-0 win when he drove Rozsival into the boards after elbowing him earlier.
Rozsival was cut and stayed down for a few minutes. He wasn't seriously hurt and returned.
"It's a contact sport," Kovalchuk said after the game. "I wasn't trying to kill anybody."
Kovalchuk will forfeit $34,224.60, his average pay per game. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The suspension won't affect Kovalchuk's status in Sunday's NHL All-Star game.