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Capitals’ Kuznetsov Suspended One Game For High Stick



Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov

ARLINGTON, V.A. — Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended one game for his high stick on Kyle Burroughs in Monday’s 6-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Tuesday.

Kuznetsov didn’t practice, and had his hearing on Tuesday morning. He missed the skate due to body maintenance, per the team. With the one game suspension, Kuznetsov will miss Thursday’s tilt with the Ottawa Senators.

In the second period of the Capitals win, Kuznetsov whacked Kyle Burroughs in the face with his stick. Kuznetsov went off for a high-sticking minor, and Burroughs was not injured.

READ MORE ON WHN: Alex Ovechkin Powers Washington Capitals To Comeback Win Over Vancouver Canucks

Kuznetsov finished the game with three assists, which also helped him hit 500 career points. The 30-year-old had also been a game-time decision after not taking part in the Capitals morning skate due to maintenance.

Head coach Peter Laviolette said that he believed Kuznetsov’s actions weren’t intentional, but “reactionary.”

“Oftentimes when you’re in the battle like that, sometimes things are reactionary. I think it was accidental,” Laviolette said.

This is Kuznetsov’s first suspension since 2019 when he sat three games for cocaine use.

Through four games this season, the Russian has four points in four games, all of them assists. After shifting down to the second line, he was promoted back up to the first line to work with Alex Ovechkin and Conor Sheary on Monday. That trip helped turn the tide, as Washington scored four unanswered goals to top Vancouver, 6-4.

Kuznetsov is coming off a strong comeback year that saw him put up 77 points in 78 games and earn a trip to the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend.

With Kuznetsov out, it’s possible that Connor McMichael could draw in for the first time this season. McMichael had subbed in for Kuznetsov for Monday’s morning skate after No. 92 missed practice and was ruled a game-time decision.