Los Angeles – Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele has been suspended four games by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
The punishment was meted out after Scheifele charged Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans following an empty-net goal late in the Jets’ 5-3 loss in Game 1 of their second-round series on Wednesday.
Scheifele was not offered an in-person hearing by player safety. Therefore, the maximum suspension he could have received was five games.
Evans tucked the puck into the net to give the Canadiens a 5-3 lead with 57 seconds remaining in the third period. Scheifele, however, skated at full speed and put a big hit on Evans, who was taken from the ice on a stretcher.
Scheifele was handed a major penalty and a game misconduct for the hit.
Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers attempted to shield an injured Evans with his body as tensions escalated following the hit.
Evans, who turned 25 on Wednesday, appeared to give a thumbs-up gesture as he left the ice.
“It was a dirty hit but the league’s going to take care of it. If (Scheifele) gets back in the series we’re gonna make his life miserable,” Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson said after the game.
Montreal interim coach Dominique Ducharme confirmed Thursday that Evans sustained a concussion and will be sidelined for an undetermined period of time.
Scheifele, 28, recorded a team-leading 63 points (21 goals, club-best 42 assists) in 56 games this season.
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