The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Monday afternoon that Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves has been suspended for two games for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct against defenseman Ryan Graves in the team’s 7-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series.
After Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer froze the puck, Reaves started punching Graves in the face, took him down to the ice, and leaned down on his upper body at 8:04 of the third period. Graves stayed down on the ice for a few moments before getting assistance from a team trainer.
The Avalanche were awarded a nine-minute power play after Reaves earned a match penalty and double minor.
#Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog on Ryan Reaves:
“Reaves, he’s on a mission to go out there and hurt someone in the third. That’s what he does.”
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) May 31, 2021
Earlier in the game, Graves hit Golden Knights forward Mattias Janmark and forced him out of the game. Graves was assessed an interference penalty and Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer did not have an update on Janmark following Game 1.
Reaves was suspended one game in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs for an illegal check to the head of Vancouver Canucks forward Tyler Motte, the second time he has been suspended in his 686-game NHL career.
DeBoer- “For me, Ryan Reaves is one of the cleanest tough guys I’ve seen in the league in my 12, 13 years. He’s consistently a clean, physical player.”
On last night’s incident he said Reaves’ gloves never came off, nobody was hurt on the play and that it’s up to DoPS now.
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) May 31, 2021
Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, whose eight-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of Round 1 was upheld by Commissioner Gary Bettman after appealing it, will file an appeal to neutral arbitrator Shyam Das. He will be eligible to return in Game 7 if the suspension is upheld.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be on Wednesday at Ball Arena in Denver (10 PM ET, NBCSN).
Reaves will be eligible to return for Game 4 at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.
By Harrison Brown