Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen will not face any supplemental discipline for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after cross-checking the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby in the face on Monday night in Game Three.
Niskanen was given a five minute major and a game misconduct on the play by the referees.
“I wasn’t even trying to cross check him with a serious amount of force,” Niskanen told reporters after the game “A collision was going to happen there in the crease. When the play first starts, I think my stick’s at about his arm level probably, right about where the numbers are on the side of his jersey and because he’s trying to make a play, he’s getting lower and lower because he’s getting pressured, trying to score, so the collision happened there.”
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz called it “a hockey play,” arguing that it was an unfortunate sequence based on the two players’ positioning. His Penguins counterpart, Mike Sullivan, seemed angered by the play when asked about it after the game but declined to give his view on it, though some his players shared their opinions. Sullivan would not disclose the nature of the injury.
Crosby was hit in the head and has a history of concussions, but his left knee was twisted on the play as well. The Pens coach said Crosby would be reevaluated Tuesday.
Headline photo via The Score
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