NHL suspends Pietrangelo for reckless slash on Oilers' Draisaitl

May 12 2023, 12:07 am

The Edmonton Oilers will be getting a bit of justice for an attack on one of their players.

The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Alex Pietrangelo one game for a slash on Edmonton forward Leon Draisaitl in the closing moments of last night’s game.

With Draisaitl looking to score an empty-net goal in the final minute of the contest with his team up 4-1, Pietrangelo came across the ice and gave a vicious slash to the midsection of the Oilers’ leading scorer in the 2023 postseason.

While the slash occurred near the end of the game with Vegas’ goalie pulled, Pietrangelo was ejected from the game. The Vegas defenceman was handed a five-minute major penalty for slashing and a 10-minute misconduct by officials.

The suspension backs up earlier comments from Draisaitl’s teammates calling for supplemental discipline.

“You’d like to see it reviewed for sure. I would like to see it suspended,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid told reporters last night after the team’s win at Rogers Place. “I mean, it’s as intent-to-injure as you can get.”

“That’s not a hockey play,” McDavid added. “But at the end of the day, it’s not in our hands.”

Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft echoed McDavid’s sentiments.

“If you’re asking my opinion on that play, I would not define it as a hockey play,” Woodcroft told reporters after the game. “And I’ll leave it at that.”

Earlier in the day, the NHL upheld Darnell Nurse’s automatic one-game suspension for instigating a fight.

It means that the Oilers and Golden Knights will both be without their top defencemen for Game 5 tomorrow in Las Vegas.

Edmonton evened up the series with the victory, following a pattern in the first four games where the two teams alternated wins. Though neither McDavid or Draisaitl were able to find the back of the net on Wednesday night, goals from Mattias Ekholm, Nick Bjugstad, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Evan Bouchard clinched the win.

Game 5 goes Friday night in Vegas, with puck drop set for 8 pm MT.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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