The Washington Capitals will be down another forward once again, as Nicolas Aube-Kubel has been suspended for three games for his illegal check to the head on Cal Foote in Friday’s 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Aube-Kubel had his hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Saturday. Per the team, it was a virtual hearing.
The hit occurred just 1:52 minutes into the second period. Aube-Kubel was skating through the neutral zone and caught Foote, who was trying to move the puck into the offensive zone, in the head with his shoulder. Foote went down hard and started bleeding, and ultimately went down the tunnel and did not return.
After a lengthy review, officials issued a match penalty for Aube-Kubel, sending him out of the game and giving the Lightning a five-minute power play.
Here was the hit:
— Bally Sports Sun: Lightning (@BallyLightning) November 12, 2022
According to Rule 48.5 in the NHL Rulebook, “the referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.”
Washington and Tampa will meet again on Sunday in what’s sure to be another chippy matchup. There were three fights on Friday, with Anthony Mantha completing the Gordie Howe hat trick.
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The Capitals claimed Aube-Kubel off waivers on Saturday, Nov. 5 amid several injuries on the forward lines. He has played just three games in D.C., picking up five hits and eight shot attempts.
With NAK out, Washington will have another void to fill up front. Extras Connor McMichael and Joe Snively could get a chance to draw back in with NAK out for the next stretch.