Exactly one month to the day after the Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian earned himself a two-game suspension for lighting up Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk, he’s likely in hot water again.

The eight-year NHL veteran was seen trying to kick the Lightning’s Erik Cernak in the chest with his skate during a scrum in the first period of Thursday night’s game in Tampa Bay.

MORE: Everything to know about the Tkachuk-Kassian feud

“He was holding my leg, it was reactionary, I was just trying to get him off me, kick him off,” Kassian said after the game. “If I kicked him hard, I think he would have flew back or the ref would have called a penalty. I was trying to get off and pull my leg off. He was holding me and Archie [Josh Archibald] down, I didn’t even know where the puck was. I was trying to pull my leg up and get up. It felt like we were there a lifetime, we were down there for a while.”

Cernak told reporters he thought Kassian was “a little bit mad” during the incident and was thankful the Oiler’s skate wasn’t any higher.

It’s far from the first time Kassian has dealt with disciplinary issues in his career. His first run-in with the league was back in 2013 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, when he was suspended for the first five games of the 2013-14 season for an intentional high-stick. He was suspended again for three games later that season after a dirty hit on Dallas’ Brenden Dillon. 

Kassian also sat out 32 games in the 2015-16 season during a stint with Montreal for substance abuse issues unrelated to on-ice conduct. Any suspension he receives for Thursday’s incident would be the fifth of his career. 

Should Kassian be suspended for the remainder of the season, he would miss out on a rematch with Calgary in the “Battle of Alberta” on the final day of the campaign. He and Tkachuk dropped the gloves in the rivalry’s latest installment just over two weeks ago. 

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