Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has been suspended three games for interfering with Pens forward Jake Guentzel, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Thursday.
Ristolainen was given a five-minute interference major and game misconduct for the hit in Tuesday night’s tilt, which left Guentzel bloodied and, as we later learned, with a concussion.
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed the diagnosis in his postgame presser.
Ristolainen, 22, didn’t have any prior history with the DoPS. It could be argued that Guentzel was in a prone position, and that Ristolainen took advantage of it.
Updated: The league has now released a video explanation of the suspension.
“I thought it was bad,” Penguins forward Chris Kunitz said of the hit, per the Buffalo News. “The puck doesn’t get to him. He’s looking to get the puck to get into the play, and the guy holds up a second and then he still goes through him.”
As a result of today’s announcement, Ristolainen will now sit out Buffalo’s game on Saturday against Toronto, Mar. 27 against Florida and Mar. 28 against Columbus. He’ll be eligible to return on Sunday, Apr. 2, when the Sabres take on the Isles.
Ristolainen will also forfeit $90,000 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.