Gilbert suspended three games for driving Ritchie ‘violently’ into boards

PHT
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The NHL has come down on Kings defenseman Tom Gilbert, suspending him three games for a check from behind on Anaheim’s Nick Ritchie.

“Approaching Ritchie from behind, Gilbert finishes with a solid hit through Ritchie’s numbers and left shoulder, driving him violently into the boards and causing an injury,” the Department of Player Safety explained.

The DoPS noted that Ritchie put himself in a vulnerable position, but did so well in advance of the Gilbert hit.

The incident, which occurred in the second period of Anaheim’s 4-0 win on Tuesday, knocked Ritchie out of action and kept him sidelined for last night’s game as well, a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh.

The Kings will now be without Gilbert for tonight’s game against the Pens, Saturday’s game against the Flames and Tuesday’s tilt in Toronto — their first of a five-game road swing.

Gilbert will be eligible to return on Thursday, Nov. 10 in Montreal.

With him gone, the Kings have recalled Kevin Gravel from AHL Ontario. Gravel will immediately jump into the lineup — L.A. was already down a defenseman with Brayden McNabb hurt — and likely skate alongside Alec Martinez.

Jake Muzzin will assume his usual role alongside Drew Doughty, while Derek Forbort and Matt Greene will make up the third pairing.

Of note, Gilbert — who does have a supplemental discipline history, having been fined for a high hit on Matt Stajan back in 2010 — will forfeit $23,333.34 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.