Flyers’ Matt Niskanen Catches Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher In The Face With Stick Butt As Flyers-Canadiens Series Gets Feisty

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.

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.

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

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

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to Flyers’ Matt Niskanen Catches Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher In The Face With Stick Butt As Flyers-Canadiens Series Gets Feisty

  1. David says:

    AV made a show of calling out the Habs for putting out their first power play unit in a blowout. Glad the Flyers showed everyone what sportsmanship looks like.

    • Gordon N Lefort says:

      The Flyers are cheap trick thugs – unless cross checking someone in the mouth is sportsmanship. Without the bogus 5 minute power play and the 2 goals – these clowns aren’t even in the game.

  2. Mike says:

    Broken jaw with a missing tooth, at least two games suspension for Niskanen. And what about the call for KK which was ridiculous. A player needs to assume that another is after him or will face consequences. Finally, Couturier’s hit at the end when the game was over…really???

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