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Caps' Kuznetsov suspended one-game for high-stick

Evgeny Kuznetsov Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov - The Canadian Press

NEW YORK — Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended for one game without pay for high-sticking Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kyle Burroughs on Tuesday.

The incident happened at 16:40 of the second period in the Capitals 6-4 win on Monday.

The two collided after Kuznetsov missed on a scoring chance in front of the net. Burroughs had lost his stick and pushed the forward away from the puck as he was getting back up. Kuznetsov then swung his stick and struck Burroughs in the face.

Burroughs immediately fell to the ice clutching his face but avoided serious injury.

Kuznetsov was assessed a minor penalty for high-sticking during the game.

The centre had a hearing with the NHL earlier Tuesday before the suspension was handed to him.

In a video announcing the suspension, the league called it “an intentional stick swing toward an opponent that makes high contact” and said the purposeful nature of the swing and where it landed on Burroughs made it rise to the level of a suspension.

The 30-year-old from Chelyabinsk, Russia, will now miss Washington’s upcoming game Thursday at Ottawa and forfeit US$42,162 in salary. He’s eligible to return Saturday against Los Angeles.

This is Kuznetsov’s fourth run-in with the league. He was fined $2,000 for diving in 2017, suspended three games for off-ice conduct in 2019 and fined $5,000 for high-sticking last season.

Kuznetsov had three assists against Vancouver and trails only Alex Ovechkin in points among Capitals players.

With files from The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2022.