Feb. 12 (UPI) — Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin was booted from a game against the Philadelphia Flyers for swinging his stick at Michael Raffl’s head.
The NHL announced that Malkin will have a hearing on Tuesday for the infraction. The play came late in the third period of the 4-1 win on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Malkin and Raffl got tangled up in the neutral zone. Raffl came up from behind Malkin and hit him in the back along the boards. Raffl hit Malkin in the back of the head before he skated away in pursuit of the puck. Malkin turned and whipped his stick up in the air, narrowly missing a connection with Raffl’s head.
“Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin will have a hearing Tuesday for High-sticking/Slashing Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl,” the NHL’s Department of Player Safety tweeted.
Malkin admitted that the play was “dirty” when talking to reporters after the victory.
“He liked smacked behind my head,” Malkin said. “I’m not trying to hit his face, but I know I didn’t play smart then … five minutes left. But it’s only like one point. I didn’t touch him. I looked at replay. I know it’s dirty, but I missed my stick. I did not touch his helmet … he is diving like referee give me five minutes.
“Nothing dangerous, not bleeding, nothing. I know I gave them a five minute power play. It’s my fault.”
Malkin had a second-period assist in the win. Sidney Crosby, Nick Bjugstad, Jake Guentzel and Kris Letang all scored for the Penguins. Jakub Voracek‘s third-period tally was the only goal for the Flyers.
The Pens host the Edmonton Oilers at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Malkin is tied for a career-high in penalty minutes per game this season.