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Penguins' Evgeni Malkin won't be suspended for hit to Washington's T.J. Oshie

Jonathan Bombulie
| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, 11:06 a.m.
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, left, of Russia, gestures as he leaves the ice after he was given a match penalty during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 2-1.
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, left, of Russia, gestures as he leaves the ice after he was given a match penalty during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 2-1.

Evgeni Malkin will not be suspended for his hit on Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie during a 2-1 Pittsburgh Penguins loss on Wednesday night.

Malkin was assessed a match penalty for delivering a shoulder to Oshie’s chin. Match penalties are automatically reviewed by the league.

In order for a player to be disciplined for such a hit, two conditions must be met. The main point of contact must be the head and the contact must be deemed avoidable.

There’s no question the main point of contact was Oshie’s head. He had to go to the locker room for concussion testing before returning to the ice and scoring the winning goal in the game’s final 90 seconds.

The avoidability of the hit is the gray area in this case. Malkin did not initiate contact or change his path to deliver a hit. Oshie skated into Malkin’s body as he attempted to get past the Penguins center. Oshie suggested after the game that Malkin may have thought he was about to be hit and therefore braced himself for contact.

Malkin hasn’t been suspended in his 13-year NHL career. A $5,000 fine for spearing Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown during a game last season is the only supplemental discipline he has faced.

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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