VANCOUVER -- Jody Shelley could do little more than shake his head.
In his first game back in the lineup since being suspended for two games on Dec. 13 and sitting out an additional two games as a healthy scratch, Tuesday night's third period ejection from the Flyers' 6-2 loss was not Shelley's planned exit.
Shelley was handed a match penalty with 7:31 remaining for dropping Canucks defenseman Andrew Alberts, a former Flyer, with a punch to the face in a scrum.
VIDEO OF THE PUNCH IS BELOW
Neither Shelley nor Alberts had their gloves off. Alberts laid on the ice after the punch, needed assistance skating off and did not remain on the bench for the remainder of the game.
"It was a whistle," Shelley explained. "I got pushed from behind. Then he was coming in and I thought it was on. It was a little too quick by me. I just reacted."
With a match penalty, a mandatory discipline for possible supplementary discipline must be held with the NHL's dean of discipline, Colin Campbell, within 24 hours. The Flyers play in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
"That's not what I want," Shelley said. "That's not what you want to be, is on the phone with that guy all the time. I don't know. I guess I don't have much of a choice now."
Shelley's suspension earlier this month was the fourth of his career and his first since 2004. He was suspended for two games - against Pittsburgh and Montreal - and sacrificed $11,826 in salary for a hit on Boston's Adam McQuaid on a touch-up icing. That was his first career suspension for a play involving something other than a fight.
Boston's Milan Lucic received a match penalty last week but was not suspended. Lucic was fined $2,500 by the NHL - a penalty Shelley would surely prefer.
Now, if Shelley is suspended again, he would forfeit more salary - divided by number of games missed in the season (82) rather than number of days (190) - as he would be a repeat offender within 18 months.
TIMONEN HURT: The red flags went up as soon as Kimmo Timonen logged just 18:10 worth of ice time, more than 4 minutes below his season average of 22:39.
Timonen skated just 3 shifts in the third period and took his last shift with more than 12 minutes remaining - a true rarity for the Flyers' top defenseman with Chris Pronger out of the lineup.
Sure enough, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said late Tuesday that Timonen has a lower-body injury. There is no word on how much time, if any, Timonen will miss. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
We did not witness any remarkable hit or shot blocked by Timonen in the third period that could lead to speculation about an injury, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen earlier in the game.
Flyers assistant general manager Barry Hanrahan originally said after the game that Timonen was not injured.
The Flyers are slated to practice Wednesday afternoon in El Segundo, Calif., as they prepare for the Kings on Thursday night in Los Angeles and the Ducks on Friday evening in Anaheim.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers