Evgeny Kuznetsov suspended one game for high-sticking Kyle Burroughs

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov was suspended one game by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety due to a dangerous high stick in Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. Kuznetsov will miss Washington’s game against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Kuznetsov two-hand slashed Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs high, hitting him in the face. The play sourced what was an otherwise fantastic night for the Russian centerman. Kuzy notched three assists, including the primary apple on Alex Ovechkin’s 782nd career goal.

The incident occurred at 16:40 of the second period. Kuznetsov was assessed a minor penalty for high-sticking and the Canucks converted on the resulting power play. Kuznetsov could be seen saying “my bad” and apologizing for the play at the bench.

“Oftentimes when you’re in the battle like that, sometimes things are reactionary,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said. “I thought it was accidental but the league will take a look at it.

Kuznetsov drew DoPS’s ire due to the malice of his swing and where the stick ultimately struck Burroughs.

“Kuznetsov swings [his stick] purposefully at Burroughs making contact with his face,” DoPS explained in their video. “It is important to note that this is not a careless use of the stick. Rather this is an intentional stick swing at an opponent that makes high contact. While we recognize Kuznetsov’s assertion that he did not intend to hit Burroughs so high, players are accountable for their sticks at all times. What causes this play to rise to supplemental discipline is the purposeful nature of the swing and the location of where it lands on the opponent.”

This is the first time Kuznetsov has been suspended for on-ice conduct. Previously, he was fined 2,000 in 2017 for diving and was docked $5,000 for high-sticking Noel Acciari during the 2021-22 season.

Per the NHL, Kuznetsov will forfeit $42,162.16 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The break comes at a time when Kuznetsov has been dealing with an injury of some sort. Kuzy missed Capitals practice for the second straight day on Tuesday due to “body maintenance.” He was a game-time decision for Monday night’s Canucks game.

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