Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane has been suspended for one playoff game after boarding Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri.
After a hearing, the National Hockey League’s player safety department announced the decision Sunday afternoon.
The hit took place at 1:06 of the first period in Game 3 of the Western Conference final, which the Oilers lost 4-2.
The Avalanche entered the Oilers’ zone on the rush when a loose puck bounced off of Kadri’s stick. The Avs moved forward toward the boards to gain possession when Kane raised his stick and hit Kadri from behind.
Kane received a five-minute major penalty for boarding, saying he was “coming in on the backcheck.”
“The puck went wide, dribbled into the corner. I know (Kadri) likes to reverse hit, and I was just trying to get a bump on him,” the Oilers forward added. “That’s really all I did. Unfortunately, he went into the boards awkwardly and hurt his hands. But that was unfortunate.”
“This shove is delivered at a dangerous distance from the boards while the two players are traveling at speed and causes an injury,” the NHL Department of Player Safety said.
“(Kadri is) out. He’ll be out for the series at least, if not longer,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “The hit, it’s the most dangerous play in hockey. (Kane) puts him in head-first from behind, eight feet from the boards. I’ll leave it at that.”
Kane, 30, has recorded 17 points (13 goals, four assists) in 15 games in these playoffs. He had 39 points (22 goals, 17 assists) in 43 games during the regular season.
The Avalanche hold a 3-0 lead in the best of seven series. Game 4 is Monday night in Edmonton.
This marks Kane’s fourth suspension during his 812-game NHL career.
With files from Reuter’s Field Level Media