WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele says he won't appeal the four-game suspension he was handed for a crushing blow on Montreal's Jake Evans.

Scheifele says he doesn't agree with the sanction handed down by the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Thursday, calling it "excessive," but added that he doesn't want to be a distraction for his team.

The hit came in the final minute of the Canadiens' 5-3 win in Game 1 of the North Division final on Wednesday as Evans wrapped a shot into the empty Winnipeg net. Scheifele levelled Evans, with the Canadiens forward striking his head on the ice and then being taken away on a stretcher. He was not hospitalized but Montreal's interim coach Dominique Ducharme has said he has a concussion.

Scheifele was handed a charging major and a game misconduct for the play. He said Friday that he did not intend to injure Evans and was only trying to stop him from scoring.

Scheifele said he has reached out to some Canadiens players to check on Evans and is praying for his quick recovery.

The Jets will host the Canadiens in Game 2 of the second-round playoff series tonight.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.