Oilers' Nurse picks up suspension for late-game fight

May 11 2023, 7:24 pm

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse probably wishes he wasn’t involved inĀ thatĀ fight last night.

Due to rule 46.21 in the NHL rulebook prohibiting players from starting a fight in the final five minutes of regulation, Nurse was hit with an automatic one-game suspension for his altercation last night with Vegas Golden Knights player Nic Hague, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Thursday.

Nurse’s punishment means he’ll be missing tomorrow night’s Game 5.

With the Oilers fully in control of the game and carrying a 4-1 lead in the final moments of the contest, Nurseā€™s fight with Hague seemed to be the cherry on the cake to rile up the Rogers Place crowd, who likely didn’t realize the ramifications coming for one of the team’s top players.

Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft was also handed a $10,000 fine for the incident.

Woodcroft felt that the instigator penalty levied on Nurse ā€” which triggered the automatic suspension ā€” should have been rescinded.

ā€œI saw Darnell wrap somebody up, two guys bear hugging each other, and I saw their player with his gloves off first,ā€ Woodcroft said to media postgame. ā€œI saw their player throw eight punches, so to me, thatā€™s two willing combatants. Itā€™s not like somebody was turtled up in a ball. I saw two willing combatants. As I said, I believe it started with [Hague], he had his gloves off first and threw eight punches.ā€

Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli added that Vegas captain Mark Stone felt that his own teammate Hague asked Nurse to fight.

The NHL had the option to reverse the call but opted to keep the automatic penalty in line.

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

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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