Jason Franson / Canadian Press via AP
Thursday, May 11, 2023 | 7:02 p.m.
The Golden Knights will be without their No. 1 defenseman for their most important game of the season.
Alex Pietrangelo has been suspended one game for his late slashing penalty on Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl and will be unavailable for Friday’s Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena (7 p.m., TNT).
Pietrangelo was called for the penalty with 1:31 remaining in the Golden Knights’ 4-1 loss in Game 4 at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Wednesday. He had a meeting with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety this morning.
As Pietrangelo skated back to the defensive zone, he swung his stick at Draisaitl in a baseball bat-like fashion. The action resulted in a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct.
“Significantly, after the shot is released, disregarding the continuation of the play, Pietrangelo skates toward Draisaitl, grips his stick with both hands and chops down — with force — on Draisaitl’s forehand,” the explanation says.
The league also noted the length of time it took once the puck was shot from Draisaitl until Pietrangelo followed through with the slash.
The second-round series is tied at two games apiece.
Pietrangelo’s absence is as major a loss as the Golden Knights could have. He leads the Golden Knights in ice time during the playoffs at 24:37 per game. Pietrangelo has six assists through nine games.
The expectation is Ben Hutton will take Pietrangelo’s place in the lineup. Hutton — along with AHL Henderson captain Brayden Pachal — made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in the close-out Game 5 against Winnipeg in the first round.
The Golden Knights won’t be the only ones down a top defenseman. Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse will also serve a one-game suspension for instigating a fight in the final five minutes of Game 4.
Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected] Follow Danny on Twitter at twitter.com/DannyWebster21.