Penguins' Evgeni Malkin faces possible suspension for hit to Capital's T.J. Oshie
WASHINGTON – Evgeni Malkin could be suspended for a hit he delivered to Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie in the third period of a 2-1 Pittsburgh Penguins loss on Wednesday night.
Malkin was assessed a match penalty, which is automatically reviewed by the NHL league office to determine whether supplemental discipline is appropriate.
On the play, Malkin carried the puck across the blue line and left a drop pass for Sidney Crosby.
Oshie said he was trying to let Malkin skate by and apply pressure to Crosby. As he tried to do so, he collided with Malkin, who delivered a shoulder to the Capitals winger’s chin.
Oshie went to the locker room for medical attention, then returned to the game and scored the winning goal in the final 90 seconds of the third period.
“He might maybe have thought I was coming to hit him, and so he threw the reverse shoulder out there, which I try to do that all the time,” Oshie said. “I did it at least once tonight. I just wasn’t expecting it being on the PK. You don’t typically go for hits, so he caught me there. It is what it is. I passed my concussion test, went out and won the game.”
Oshie did not lobby for a suspension.
“Not my concern anymore,” he said. “We got the W. I don’t care what happens to him.”
For a hit to the head to merit discipline, two conditions must be met. The head must be the main point of contact and the hit must have been avoidable.
Oshie’s head was the main point of contact, and by giving a match penalty, the on-ice officials ruled Malkin made a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent.
Whether the hit was avoidable is the gray area in this case.
If the league’s department of player safety decides Oshie initiating the contact made the hit unavoidable, Malkin could escape further punishment.
Malkin has never been suspended. A $5,000 fine for spearing Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown during a game last season is the only supplemental discipline of his career.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at email@example.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.