Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has been suspended one game for a slash on Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl in the dying moments of Game 4.
Pietrangelo was assessed a five-minute major for slashing and ejected from the game after he flew across the ice and waxed the Oilers star with a clean two-hander across the arms after Draisaitl missed an empty-net attempt with under 90 seconds remaining in the Oilers' 4-1 win to even the series on Wednesday.
Alex Pietrangelo gives Leon Draisaitl a two-handed slash after an empty net opportunity. pic.twitter.com/wziPdleLDx
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 11, 2023
Draisaitl dropped to the ice in pain almost immediately and remained down for several moments as officials signalled for a penalty, and it wasn’t long before teammate Connor McDavid came to his defence. No. 97 grabbed Pietrangelo as he skated out from behind the Golden Knights’ net, with the two exchanging shoves and gloved punches before referees intervened to break up the scrum.
The Oilers captain was just as heated about the situation while speaking to reporters after the game, lobbying for Pietrangelo to be disciplined — a request that has since been granted.
"You would like to see it reviewed for sure. I'd like to see it suspended," McDavid said post-game. "It was as intent to injure as you can get. That was not a hockey play."
In a video explanation on Thursday, the league said Pietrangelo "disregarded the continuation of the play" as he skated toward Draisaitl before chopping down on his forearms. It was deemed "significant force" on a vulnerable area of an opposing player.
Pietrangelo leads all Golden Knights skaters in average ice time (24:36) in the playoffs, posting six assists in nine contests after potting 11 goals and 54 points in 73 regular-season games. He has no prior history of supplemental discipline from the league.
The 33-year-old is a three-time All-Star and was a member of the St. Louis Blues’ improbable Stanley Cup victory in 2019.
Edmonton blueliner Darnell Nurse was also suspended on Thursday, slapped with an automatic one-game ban for a late-game instigator penalty before a spirited scrap with Vegas forward Nicolas Hague.
Nurse, with four assists in 10 postseason games, ranks second among Edmonton’s skaters in average ice time (23:24), behind only McDavid (23:33).
Game 5 goes Friday night in Vegas.