Vegas Golden Knights celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during second period NHL Stanley Cup second round playoff action in Edmonton on Monday May 8, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Golden Knights defenceman Pietrangelo, Oilers defenceman Nurse each suspended a game

Golden Knights defenceman Alex Pietrangelo and Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse were suspended by the NHL for one game apiece on Thursday after a wild end to Game 4 of the two teams’ playoff series.

Edmonton won Wednesday’s game 4-1. Both Nurse and Pietrangelo will miss Game 5 in Las Vegas, with the best-of-seven series tied 2-2.

Pietrangelo was punished for slashing Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl at the 18:29 mark of the third period.

The 33-year-old Pietrangelo was given a five-minute major penalty for slashing and a game misconduct. Draisaitl was down on the ice for a few seconds but did not appear to be seriously hurt.

“That was a really, really dangerous slash,” Draisaitl said. “I think those are things that have nothing to do with hockey or the game. You can seriously injure someone with a slash like that.”

“You’d like to see it reviewed for sure and I would like to see it suspended,” Edmonton captain Connor McDavid added. “It’s as intent to injure as you can get. The time, score clock all play a factor.

“He comes from over his own head and places it just under Leon’s chin. You’d like to see something like that suspended, it’s not a hockey play, but at the end of the day it’s not in our hands.”

Pietrangelo was suspended hours after Nurse was banned for a game for instigating a fight in the final five minutes of regulation time.

Nurse was assessed a minor penalty for instigating, a major penalty for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct for instigating following a fight with Knights defenceman Nicolas Hague at 19:10 of the third period.

“I was surprised,” Nurse said of the penalties. “You go through the whole sequence of events, being asked multiple times to fight by him, even multiple times before the puck dropped during the sequence of the play.

“It is a fight that takes place between two people who I think were willing to fight. I didn’t go in there and jump him by any means. His gloves were off first. I didn’t throw the first punch, I think he threw the first eight punches.”

Nurse added that Hague was looking for a fight.

“For 40 minutes, he was out there challenging and trying to provoke a fight,” Nurse said. “For me, you play 24 minutes a game and you don’t want to take yourself out at the wrong time.

“With 30 seconds left in a 4-1 game, to do it a fair way, to have (a) fair fight where both people want to fight and are willing to engage, I think that is what took place last night.”

Edmonton head coach Jay Woodcroft was also fined US$10,000.

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