Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin suspended 1 game for swing of stick |

Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin suspended 1 game for swing of stick

Jonathan Bombulie
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin centers a pass past the Lightning’s Victor Hedman in the third period Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.

Evgeni Malkin will serve a one-game suspension for swinging his stick at the head of Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl in a 4-1 Penguins victory on Monday night.

Late in the third period, Malkin and Raffl were engaged in a physical battle in the neutral zone. Raffl gave Malkin a gloved punch to the back of the head. Malkin responded by whipping his stick around in the direction of Raffl’s face.

The swing did not appear to make significant contact. Malkin was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure.

After the game, Malkin admitted it wasn’t smart to retaliate against Raffl, but he noted that his actions did not cause an injury.

“We have a battle,” Malkin said. “I think he played dirty. He smacked behind my head. I’m not trying to hit his face.”

The player safety video said, “It is important to note that while we understand Malkin’s contention that his stick only made glancing contact with Raffl, this does not excuse his actions. In fact, NHL stick fouls do not require that contact actually be made for discipline to be assessed.

“This is an intentional stick swing directed at an opponent with force and at a dangerous height for the purposes of retaliation,” the video continued.

It was the second match penalty Malkin has been assessed this season. He wasn’t suspended for delivering a shoulder to the head of Washington’s T.J. Oshie in a Nov. 7 game.

It is the first suspension of Malkin’s 13-year NHL career. He was fined twice before.

Malkin will miss Wednesday night’s game against Edmonton and therefore will forfeit $51,075.27 in salary.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.