The NHL and NHL Department of Player Safety handed Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere a two-game suspension for boarding Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman after Friedman scored an empty-net goal late in the Penguins 7-3 win over Philadelphia.
The Department of Player Safety also released a video explaining the decision. In the video, the DoPS made note that Shayne Gostisbehere was not making a defensive play.
“It is important to note this is not a defensive play in which Gostisbehere is attempting to reach the puck carrier to prevent a goal from being scored,” the narration said. “It is only after the empty-net goal is apparent that Gostisbehere adjusts his skating path, takes a hard stride to reach Friedman, and begins to initiate this contact.”
The goal occurred with nearly four minutes remaining but gave the Penguins a 6-3 lead. Friedman was the subject of Philadelphia’s attention for much of the game. Mark Friedman, whom the Penguins claimed off waivers from the Flyers in February, has played in four games this season for the Penguins–all four against Philadelphia.
In those four games, Friedman has two goals and one assist. The Penguins d-man also fought Philadelphia forward Joel Farabee in the second period on Tuesday night. Friedman was also injured against the Flyers on March 4. First, Flyers center Nolan Patrick aggressively boarded Friedman minutes after the defenseman scored his first NHL goal. Later, Friedman left the game after he suffered the worst after an attempted hard-open ice hit on Patrick
Nolan Patrick braces for impact and takes down Mark Friedman. pic.twitter.com/qkhQkNfGrS
— Philly Hockey Now (@phillyhockeynow) March 5, 2021
From the NHL DoPS Video:
“And it is significantly after the puck enters the net, well past the time Friedman should reasonably expect and prepare for contact, that the shove is delivered,” the NHL video said. “Further, the shove is delivered at an extremely dangerous distance to the boards while both players are traveling with speed.
This is an intentional shove to the back of a player delivered at speed who is not adequately positioned to protect himself, putting him dangerously into the end boards.”