The Pittsburgh Penguins hardly needed a bigger hit to their team headed into a game four against the Philadelphia Flyers, down 3-0. That is what they will get with Arron Asham and James Neal being suspended by the league.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari reports via Twitter the two players will indeed be out for the pivotal game four, and in the case of Asham, the suspension will be longer.
BREAKING NEWS: Neal suspended for one game, Asham for four.— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) April 18, 2012
The two teams will pick up were they left on Wednesday night, but the Penguins will be short some crucial talent in a must-win game.
I wish I could say there was no love lost between the two teams, but that is a gross understatement for a rivalry that has yet another violent chapter added to their history books.
Asham's was the more egregious of the two violations and came after a huge hit was delivered to teammate Paul Martin by Brayden Schenn.
Asham took extreme exception to the hit and ended up cross-checking Schenn in the throat after the hit. Schenn went to the ice and Asham took a swing at the back of his head.
Neal's hit came in the third period when he went flying to take out Philadelphia's Sean Couturier. Neal left his feet to lay out the Flyers' centre.
The Penguins are now down two more men headed into what is guaranteed to be another fierce battle on Wednesday. They are also without the talents of Craig Adams who received an automatic one-game suspension for instigating a fight, per USA Today.
If they are to bring this series to seven, they are forced to do so without the help of Asham who will have to sit idly by and watch things unfold.