Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov suspended 1 game for high-sticking Kyle Burroughs

Kuznetsov suspended 1 game for high-sticking Kyle Burroughs originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ARLINGTON, Va. — The NHL Department of Player Safety suspended Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov one game for his high stick on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs in Washington’s 6-4 win Monday night. Kuznetsov will serve the suspension for Thursday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

“It is important to note that this is not a careless use of the stick,” a spokesperson for the NHL DoPS said in a video breakdown of the play. “Rather, this is an intentional stick swing towards an opponent that makes high contact. While we recognize Kuznetsov’s assertion that he did not intend to hit Burroughs so high, players are accountable for their stick at all times.”

Kuznetsov, 30, caught Burroughs in the face with his stick following a scoring chance that the Canucks defenseman broke up during the second period Monday. It is the second time in his career that he has been suspended, following a three-game ban he received for inappropriate conduct off the ice in 2019.

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said during his press conference at practice Tuesday that he didn’t think the high stick was intentional.

“They’re doing their job,” Laviolette said of the DoPS holding a hearing with Kuznetsov. “Oftentimes, when you’re in the battle sometimes things are reactionary. I think it was accidental but the league will take a look at it.”

Kuznetsov didn’t skate at practice Monday with what a team spokesperson described as “body maintenance.” The winger was a game-time decision Monday with the same ailment, though he wound up skating for over 16 minutes and recorded three assists to help Washington pull off a comeback win.

In addition to Kuznetsov, the Capitals may also be without winger Connor Brown on Thursday after he exited Monday’s game with an apparent lower-body injury. The team offered no updates on Brown’s status Tuesday other than to say he was undergoing “further evaluation.”

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