According to multiple reports, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will not be suspended for his hit on Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie.
The incident occurred early in the third period, Wednesday night. The Penguins were on the power play. As Malkin skated across the offensive blue line, Oshie defended him. Malkin threw a reverse check to Oshie, in which the head was the primary point of contact.
Malkin was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a match penalty.
“He maybe thought I was coming to hit him and so he threw the reverse shoulder out there, which I try to do that all the time,” Oshie told reporters after the game. “I just wasn’t expecting it being on the PK.”
Oshie left the game for much of the third period but returned to score the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the game.
“My face is a little messed up, but I’m feeling pretty good now,” Oshie said. “He caught me there, and it is what it is. I passed my concussion test, went out and won the game.”
The Penguins have lost five in a row, including four to Metropolitan Division foes.
Malkin has 20 points in 14 games and is among the NHL scoring leaders. Wednesday, Penguins coaches shuffled Malkin’s line. They removed Phil Kessel from the right wing and replaced him with Patric Hornqvist. The Penguins dominated shots and shot attempts against Washington, but lost 2-1. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan strongly argued the call during the game. He deflected questions afterward about if the hit was clean or suspendable.
“It doesn’t matter what I think,” Sullivan said.
Malkin has never been suspended in his career. Though that may be a sore subject for Detroit fans.