New York Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo will be eligible to return for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final after the NHL trimmed his suspension from 10 games to six on Tuesday.
Carcillo had originally been assessed a 10-game ban under Rule 40.3 for deliberately applying physical force to an official. The incident occurred May 22 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against the Montreal Canadiens.
Carcillo appeared to twice elbow linesman Scott Driscoll, who was trying to keep Carcillo away from a fight. The original ban would have kept him completely out of the Cup final, even if the series goes the full seven games.
Commissioner Gary Bettman, who heard Carcillo's appeal at a hearing last Friday, ruled that Carcillo's actions were more appropriately deemed a violation of Rule 40.4 for deliberately applying "physical force to an official for the sole purpose of getting free of such official during or immediately following an altercation."
Bettman determined that a suspension of six games was the proper penalty for the re-classified infraction.
"The National Hockey League does not and will not, under any circumstances, tolerate or condone the abuse, physical or otherwise, of our on-ice officials," Bettman said in a statement. "The strict and proper enforcement of Rule 40, therefore, plays a critical role in safeguarding the integrity of the game by maintaining a safe and respectful working environment for our officials."
Carcillo has already served three games of the suspension.
Los Angeles will host the first two games in the best-of-seven series on Wednesday and Saturday. The series will shift to New York for Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 on June 11.
With files from The Associated Press.