PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland has been suspended for five games without pay by the NHL for a check to the head of Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader.
Engelland was given a match penalty for hitting Abdelkader in the first period of the Penguins’ 4-1 road victory Saturday night.
Engelland found out Tuesday he would have an in-person hearing, which happened today in New York City.
During that meeting, Engelland was told he was guilty of an illegal hit to the head that injured his target.
His history also impacted the decision as Engelland was suspended for three games in 2011 for a hit on Chicago’s Marcus Kruger.
The five-game suspension will cost Engelland nearly $15,000 in salary.
He still maintains that it was a purely accidental on his part.
“For sure, I’m trying to get his body and I don’t know if he’s poking the puck and trying to jump around or something, but as his head comes up, I catch it,” said Engelland. “I think his shoulder and his head, so I don’t know if he’s trying to jump around, but I’m expecting him to finish his check and I’ve got to kind of protect myself instead of turning away, getting hit and going headfirst into the boards.”
The other news of the day involved Evgeni Malkin who, in that same game, crashed hard into the boards and seemed to have sustained a left leg injury.
Turns out, it wasn’t that bad, but Malkin will miss tonight’s game against the New York Rangers and Thursday’s against the Minnesota Wild.
He remains listed as day to day with a lower body injury.
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