No surprise here: The NHL has suspended New York Islanders winger Colin McDonald two games for his boarding hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy late in the second period of Tuesday's 4-1 Isles wincolin over the Pens.
McDonald was actually signed away from the Penguins organization, having played five games for them and most of 2011-12 with their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Here is video of the hit, followed by video explanation from the NHL on the ruling:
McDonald received a major penalty and a misconduct on the play. The key factors for the suspension, per the league, were the amount of time McDonald had, the force of the hit, and the fact Lovejoy did not turn to put himself in a vulnerable position. The fact there was no injury actually lessened the suspension.
The score was 4-0 at the time, and this hit wasn't just dangerous -- it gave Pittsburgh a chance to get back in the game if they could collect a couple of goals on the ensuing five-minute powerplay.
The Isles killed it off pretty easily, however, and were able to seal the win with an uneventful third period.
Rather than make a short-term roster move, this news means the Islanders are likely to just slot Eric Boulton back into the lineup. Which means less flexibility and a different look to a third line that has done nicely so far with contributions from Keith Aucoin and David Ullstrom.
As for who next fights for McDonald's spot, Josh Bailey is expected to skate Thursday but is still at least a week away from returning, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple.