Photo credit: Jim Wilt
Nicklas Backstrom has been suspended one game for a cross-check to the head of Rich Peverley in the third period of the Caps 4-3 loss to the Bruins this Monday. Backstrom received a match penalty for this cross-check at the time, which comes with an automatic one-game suspension pending review by the NHL front office.
Review it they did, and VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan has ruled that the suspension will stand. Backstrom will miss Game 4 on Thursday, the second of two home games in Washington DC. The Caps are currently down 2-1 to the Bruins for the series, and will have a chance to even the series, though that chance has just gotten significantly more difficult with arguably their best player sitting out.
You can watch Brendan Shanahan’s suspension video below the jump. Make sure there is nothing breakable nearby.
This was the fourth penalty of the night for Backstrom, who appeared to have to have been fed up with the Bruins apparent strategy of targeting his head.
“Every scrum, Nicky comes out with no helmet on, he gets blockered to the head by [Tim] Thomas the game before. He’s protecting his head,” Dale Hunter told WaPo’s Katie Carrera on Tuesday. “He’s got to protect himself. You get a second concussion you’re out a long time. If it wasn’t there, if the stick wasn’t in his face — Nicky Backstrom’s not that kind of player. He doesn’t just cross-check somebody in the face; he’s not like that. Because the stick was there he protected himself.”
Backstrom has missed 40 games with concussion this year, and will now miss one postseason game due to supplemental discipline.