Calling the action “a dangerous hit from behind,” NHL vice president of player safety issued a one-game suspension against Phoenix Coyotes’ centre Martin Hanzal for his check on Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown in the Kings’ 4-0 victory Tuesday night.
Hanzal will miss Thursday’s third game of the best-of-seven Western Conference final, which L.A. leads 2-0.
Two other Coyotes’ players – team captain Shane Doan and defenceman Derek Morris – also had plays scrutinized by Shanahan, who declined to pursue supplementary discipline against either. Shanahan ruled that the Kings’ Trevor Lewis turned just prior to Doan’s hit, which also resulted in a boarding major and game misconduct. He was also satisfied that the two-minute penalty assessed against Morris was sufficient punishment for kneeing Kings’ defenceman Rob Scuderi.
Brown was not made available for comment Wednesday following the Kings’ short optional workout, but Kings’ centre Jarrett Stoll pronounced him fine. “He’s a tough guy. He’ll be back and ready for Game 3.”
Stoll was hoping for a two-game suspension, saying: “It was a pretty dangerous play. He was vulnerable.”