Minnesota Wild right wing Cal Clutterbuck connected with a punch on Thursday, but not with the intended target.
While tangling with Maxim Lapierre in front of the Vancouver Canucks' bench, Clutterbuck's blind punch belted linesman Darren Gibbs in the face.
Gibbs took a step back as he attempted to subdue the fighters, but continued his efforts to control the situation. He did not appear to be significantly injured.
Clutterbuck was assessed a 10-minute misconduct while Lapierre and teammate Dan Hamhuis were also handed misconduct penalties.
"(He) was just trying to protect himself," Minnesota coach Mike Yao said of Clutterbuck.