Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will miss Game 4 of his team’s second-round series against the Washington Capitals after being suspended one game by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Penguins’ Kris Letang Suspended One Game For ‘High, Forceful Hit’

Letang’s suspension was given after he committed a high hit on Capitals forward Marcus Johansson in the first period of Game 3 on Monday.

The Department of Player Safety later explained Letang was guilty of interference and made significant contact with Johansson’s head on the play concerned. Although he received a minor penalty for interference on the ice, it seemed inevitable that more would be coming. Letang attended a hearing on Tuesday, after which the NHL came to a decision.

Patrick Burke of the NHL noted in the video that Johansson was not eligible to be checked by the time Letang went to initiate contact. The puck was already away and Letang’s contact came outside the allotted window for finishing his check. Furthermore, it was added that Johansson’s head is not the main point of contact, so the hit was therefore not classified as an illegal check to the head. Letang’s feet also did not leave the ice before contact, which leaves out charging as an additional infraction. Johansson was not ultimately injured on the play.


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Letang has previously been fined once and suspended once in his career. He was awarded no penalty or suspension after hitting the New York Rangers’ Viktor Stalberg in the first-round playoff series between the two teams.

The Penguins defeated the Capitals 3-2 at home on Monday. Game 4 is set for Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

PHOTOS: PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in action in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Rangers at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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