Oilers' Kassian kicks Lightning's Cernak

"He was holding my leg".

In a heated scrap while down on the ice with Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak, Kassian, while tangled up with the blueliner, made a decision to kick him away using his foot. "I was just trying to get my foot loose", Kassian said. "I was laying there for a while, a couple of seconds, so I was just trying to pull my leg out".

"If I kicked him hard, I think he would have flew back or the ref would have called a penalty".

Kassian appeared to dish out a side kick aimed at the chest of Lightning defenceman Erik Cernak late in the period after the two players - and the Oilers' Josh Archibald - were tangled up in the Edmonton end.

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. "I asked him what was wrong with him?" So I don't know. "Lucky it wasn't higher".

Tampa Bay went on to win 3-1 for its ninth straight victory.

Just weeks removed from the saga between Kassian and Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, the 29-year-old winger has again yielded attention for a needlessly violent event.

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.