Pavel Buchnevich receives 1-game suspension for cross check on Mantha

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 05: Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the New York Rangers takes a high-sticking penalty on Anthony Mantha #39 of the Washington Capitals during the second period at Madison Square Garden on May 05, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Pavel Buchnevich of the New York Rangers has been suspended for one game. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In a predictable twist of irony, the original victim in a saga that has left an absolute mess in its wake has received the most significant punishment — at least among the players.

New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich has been handed a one-game suspension from the NHL for the vicious high stick and cross check he landed on the nose of Anthony Mantha in the spirited return meeting between the Rangers and Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

The suspension is proof of the sideshow coming full circle, as it was a punch from Tom Wilson to the back of the head on Buchnevich while grounded in a scrum which started the bad blood between the two East Division foes in a wild game Monday night.

Wilson's punch sparked an immediate melee, which saw the hard-nosed winger fling Artemi Panarin head-first to the ground without a helmet. The NHL's decision to only levy a small fine on Wilson incensed the Rangers, who spoke out with both a costly statement and their fists, initiating a line brawl from puck drop on the opening faceoff in the rematch two nights later. 

There were six fights totals, and there could have been many more. Clearly heated from the previous matchup, Buchnevich was involved in several conflicts that didn't materialize in a fight before he landed the shot on Mantha that earned him a game misconduct.

That emotion will cost Buchnevich a game, and ultimately more cash compared to Wilson, based on the value of one game tied to his contract.

Again, all too predictable.

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