Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin is getting dinged for cross-checking Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki in the face.
The Penguins center is suspended for the next four games because of his violent act, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Monday night following a hearing. The four-game ban will reportedly cost him $190,000.
Malkin will be missing two games against the New York Islanders and two games against the Boston Bruins.
This will be only the second time Malkin has been suspended over his 977-game career. The previous infraction was when one game was taken away from him for a high-sticking incident with then-Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl.
On the cross-checking play itself on Sunday, Malkin was hit with a four-minute double minor due to drawing some of Borowiecki’s blood from shoving the shaft of his stick into the defenseman’s face. On the other end of the ledger, Borowiecki received a two-minute slashing penalty, for some reason.
This type of suspension is not a unique one in the NHL this season. Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews was handed a two-game ban for cross-checking Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in a similar area.
Pittsburgh has eight games remaining in its regular season and one of its best players now has to miss half of them for a silly decision behind the play.
The Penguins sit very comfortably in a playoff spot, but their positioning is still to be determined. They have 94 points, which is good for third in the Metropolitan Division. The Washington Capitals lurk just behind at 90 points with two games in hand. If the Penguins do slip to fourth in the division, they would have to enter the postseason as a wild card.
Malkin has scored 17 goals and 37 points through 37 games this season.
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