Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith looks on as Kings forward Dustin Brown lies on the ice after being hit from behind by Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal during Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference final at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., May 15, 2012. (TODD KOROL/Reuters)
NEW YORK - The National Hockey League issued a one-game suspension Wednesday to Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal for his actions during Tuesday's Game 2 of the Western Conference final.
Hanzal checked LA forward Dustin Brown from behind and into the end boards during the latter stages of the third period, drawing a major for boarding and a game misconduct as a result.
"Hanzal finishes Brown forcefully and at a very dangerous distance from the boards. After chipping the puck from the blue line, Brown does not possess, or even touch it again. Hanzal is directly behind Brown and his gaze is focused on Brown. He then recklessly initiates the check from behind. He does not avoid contact, and he does not attempt to minimize it," said NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan.
"We have taken into account that while Brown was shaken up on the play, he returned to the game and completed it. It is also important to note that Hanzal has never been fined or suspended previously during his five-season NHL career."
Game 3 of this series, which the Kings lead 2-0, takes place at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday night.