Things are gettin’ feisty in the Flyers-Canadiens series. In the waning moments of Game 5 on Wednesday night, former Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen applied a stick butt to the face of Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher. No penalty was called on the play, however it looks like Gallagher may have lost a couple teeth and possibly fractured a bone on the play.
The incident occurred late in the third period of Wednesday night’s Game 5, with the Canadiens leading 4-3.
The hit in question from another angle:
Gallagher was obviously not very happy about the missed call and the subsequent tooth extraction.
Earlier in the game the Canadiens Jesperi Kotkaniemi caught a Flyers defenseman in the numbers, sending him into the boards. The referee reviewed it, and decided it was worth a major penalty, and a game misconduct.
Five and a game for Kotkaniemi pic.twitter.com/l2H9Zv6F8b
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) August 20, 2020
Philadelphia scored two goals on the five-minute power play, turning an 0-1 deficit into a 2-1 lead.
More general unpleasantries ensued at the end of the game following an empty net goal by the Canadiens.
Following the game, there was plenty of outcry from Canadiens fans, calling for Niskanen to be suspended. However the play may have caught the attention of the league, and supplemental discipline may be coming for Niskanen.
Hearing this is on the NHL’s radar https://t.co/D1Vh7KEaqC
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 20, 2020
An announcement on if the blueliner will face a hearing with the Department of Player Safety should come before Friday’s Game 6.
UPDATE – Thursday, Noon
Philadelphia’s Matt Niskanen will have a hearing today for Cross-checking Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) August 20, 2020
In the end, the Canadiens held on for the win, staved off elimination and now trail in the series, 3-2. The Flyers looked unbeatable a week ago, but now it looks like they have their hands full with the Canadiens.
By Jon Sorensen