The NHL has suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals as a result of his major penalty for boarding Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown in Game 2, according to TSN's Darren Dreger:
1 game for Hanzal as per NHL release.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 16, 2012
Hanzal also received a game misconduct for the hit, and now, the Coyotes will have to replace his spot at center, as they trail 0-2 in the series. The teams head to the Staples Center for Game 3 on Thursday night.
Here is the suspension video from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan:
The NHL got this one right—no question about it. Hanzal hit Brown in a defenseless position and caused the Kings captain to fall dangerously into the boards, which is a perfect example of a boarding penalty.
Brown didn't ever play the puck after dumping it into the trapezoid in the offensive zone, and Hanzal made no effort to go after the puck. He went right towards Brown and boarded him in a reckless manner instead.
Hanzal has scored five points (three goals and two assists) in 10 playoff games this season.
Even though he hasn't dominated in the postseason, the Coyotes will need all the offensive firepower they can get because Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has been almost unbeatable throughout the playoffs.
The Phoenix offense needs to step up and become more productive in Game 3, or its season will end in a matter of days.