Montreal forward Max Pacioretty will have a phone hearing with the NHL Monday morning for this hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang during the third period of the Penguins’ overtime win in Montreal Saturday night. Pacioretty broke Letang’s nose on the play, yet wasn’t whistled for a penalty:
Unsurprisingly, the hit is garnering a lot of attention. Pacioretty is one of the NHL’s highest-profile concussion victims (from last season’s stanchion hit by Zdeno Chara) yet seemed to be headhunting Letang intentionally on the play. The Globe and Mail called it a “textbook blindside hit prohibited by rule 48 – Pacioretty coming in from Letang’s right and laying his shoulder and upper arm into Letang’s head.”
Judging by his actions, Pacioretty knew the hit was bad. He apologized to Letang prior to the start of overtime and expressed remorse to the Globe following the game.
“It’s a tough decision for me, it’s a tough decision for him too. He’s coming across the middle, unfortunately his head is down, I feel terrible about what happened,” Pacioretty said. “I didn’t see the replays, so I don’t know what the league will think of it. But if I let him take that shot it could be in the back of our net. It’s a tough decision for me, I thought I tried to keep it within the rules, but I haven’t seen the replay.
“I’ve been down that road, it’s a terrible feeling, I know (the Penguins) are probably going to want something to be done . . . (Letang) said he was good.”
Goalie nods: Coyotes turn back to Domingue for key game against Vancouver
Tonight is a big game for the Arizona Coyotes, as they host Vancouver, one of the teams they’re jockeying with for the final wild-card spot in the West.
If the Coyotes can beat the Canucks in regulation, they’ll move to within two points of Colorado for that final wild-card spot, with three games in hand on the Avs. Not only that, Vancouver’s playoff hopes would be dealt a significant blow.
Of course, that’s a pretty sizable “if” the way the Coyotes have been playing. The Desert Dogs are winless in their last four, with 21 total goals surrendered.
“We have to shore up some things and our goaltending has to be better,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told reporters, while confirming that Louis Domingue would get the start versus the Canucks.
Domingue, the NHL’s rookie of the month in January, has struggled of late, allowing five goals in each of his last three starts. In the Coyotes’ last game, they turned to Anders Lindback, only for Lindback to surrender five goals himself in a 5-2 loss to Anaheim.
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.