The NHL suspended Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo for one playoff game for slashing Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl.
The discipline was announced Thursday night after the league’s Department of Player Safety held a hearing with Pietrangelo. He will be unavailable for Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Friday in Las Vegas.
Pietrangelo received a five-minute major and a game misconduct after slashing Draisaitl while he was attempting an empty-net shot late in the third period of the Oilers’ 4-1 win in Game 4 on Wednesday.
“In this case, the puck has been gone for some time before Pietrangelo chooses to ignore the play, raise his stick and deliver a slash to a vulnerable area of his opponent with sufficient force for supplemental discipline,” a Department of Player Safety official said in an explanation video.
It marks the first time Pietrangelo, 33, has been either suspended or fined in his 15-year career spanning 952 regular-season games.
After Game 4, Edmonton captain Connor McDavid said Pietrangelo should be suspended.
“You would like to see it reviewed for sure. I’d like to see it suspended,” McDavid said. “It was as ‘intent to injure’ as you can get. That was not a hockey play.”
That wasn’t the only chippiness seen in the closing minutes of the game. With 50 seconds remaining, Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse was assessed a minor penalty for instigating, a major penalty for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct. On Thursday, Nurse was given an automatic one-game suspension for instigating a fight during the final five minutes of regulation, meaning he’ll also be sidelined for Game 5.
The Western Conference second-round series is tied at 2-2.
Pietrangelo has one assist in the series. The three-time All-Star recorded 54 points (11 goals, 43 assists) in 73 games during the regular season.
Draisaitl, 27, has six goals and one assist in the series and leads the Stanley Cup playoffs in goals (13) and points (18). He posted a career-high 128 points (52 goals, 76 assists) in 80 games in the regular season.
–Field Level Media