The NHL Department Of Player Safety announced on Saturday night that Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves has been suspended for Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Dallas Stars for an illegal check to the head on Vancouver Canucks forward Tyler Motte in Game 7 of the Western Conference second-round series.
The 33-year-old was given a match penalty with 3:30 remaining of the second after he caught Motte in the head after he passed the puck down the ice. Motte left the game but returned.
The ruling video from the Department of Safety:
Reaves has been once in his 649-game NHL career, a three-game suspension for boarding in 2016.
Losing Reaves is a big loss for the Golden Knights as he plays against the opponents’ top players every game and is a key contributor to one of the best checking lines in the NHL. Both of the best offensive seasons of his career have come with the Golden Knights after he posted eight goals, 15 points, and a -5 rating in 71 regular-season games this season.
Reaves has posted just four assists, a +2 rating, a 56.82% Corsi-for percentage, and a 61.04% expected goals-for percentage while averaging 9:27 in 15 games for the Golden Knights during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Golden Knights and Stars open the Western Conference Final at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Sunday night (8 PM ET, NBC).
By Harrison Brown