Penguins' Evgeni Malkin could be suspended for swinging his stick at opponent's head

Penguins' Evgeni Malkin could be suspended for swinging his stick at opponent's head

Evgeni Malkin will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Tuesday to answer for a boneheaded play that got him kicked out of Monday’s Penguins–Flyers game in Philadelphia.  With about five minutes left in the third period, Malkin got tangled up with Flyers forward Michael Raffl near the benches. The exchange

Evgeni Malkin will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Tuesday to answer for a boneheaded play that got him kicked out of Monday’s PenguinsFlyers game in Philadelphia. 

With about five minutes left in the third period, Malkin got tangled up with Flyers forward Michael Raffl near the benches. The exchange was a bit chippy and Raffl delivered a crosscheck to Malkin’s back, then a punch to the back of his head. The Penguins forward was clearly irritated by Raffl and responded by recklessly swinging his stick in Raffl’s direction as he skated away. 

The stick connected with Raffl’s head and referees immediately blew the whistle to kick Malkin out of the game. The Penguins forward was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct, but he could be in line for supplemental discipline when he speaks to the league on Tuesday. 

For what it’s worth, Malkin doesn’t think a suspension is coming.

I didn’t hit him in the face,” Malkin told The Athletic’s Josh Yohe. “If I had touched him in the face, for sure, I would get suspended. It’s a high stick, but it’s not like I broke his face. I think I won’t get suspended.”

Despite Malkin’s confidence that he’ll get off without a ban, he also recognized that it was stupid play.

“It was a little bit dangerous,” Malkin added of his stick swing. “But nothing real bad, I didn’t think. It’s my fault, for sure. The refs thought it was dangerous. Next time, I need to play smarter.”

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