Found May 05, 2012 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
By Matt Swartz
The NHL announced Saturday that Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla will have a disciplinary hearing regarding his boarding penalty on Predators forward Matt Halischuk in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Friday night.
The hearing will take place Sunday, with Game 5 to be played Monday night in Glendale. The Coyotes lead the series 3-1.
Klesla received a two-minute boarding penalty for pushing Halischuk from behind into the boards near the benches late in the first period. Just before the push, Klesla appeared to grab Halischuk's jersey. Halischuk went into the boards awkwardly and stayed down briefly but was not injured.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz told reporters on a conference call Saturday: "It was really dangerous, in my eyes. How the referees or league will view it, I cannot really speak on that. But in my eyes, drilling him the way he did, we were fortunate Halischuk spun the way he did at the last minute."
Klesla is one of the Coyotes' top defensemen, averaging 18 minutes, 30 seconds of ice time so far in the playoffs while tallying two goals and four assists.
Phoenix has already been hit hard this postseason by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, as forward Raffi Torres was suspended 25 games for his first-round hit on Chicago Blawkhawks winger Marian Hossa. Torres and the NHL Players Association announced plans to appeal the suspension on Thursday.
BACK IN THE LINEUP?
Predators forwards Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn, who were suspended for Game 3 and then were healthy scratches in Game 4, are likely to return to the lineup Monday night, Trotz said.
"I think there is a high probability that they will both go in. I think they are motivated. There are some guys who I thought didnt bring their best games; therefore, I think there will be a couple changes."
Trotz added, "They are getting in that mindset that they are ready to go and want to help this team. They are not happy we are down 3-1 in this series. When you are a player and have been a good player for a long time, you want to be on the ice; you dont want to be in the stands. They are back in the right mindset that they can make a difference here."
Despite missing the past two games, Radulov still leads the Predators in playoff points with six (one goal, five assists). Kostitsyn has a goal and three assists in the postseason.
CHANGE OF PLANS
After the Coyotes and Predators combined for 15 goals in the first two games of the series in Glendale, the two teams put up a total of three goals in the two games in Nashville. The Predators scored twice in a shutout win in Game 3 before the Coyotes scored the lone goal in Game 4.
In both games at Bridgestone Arena, the play tightened up noticeably in the neutral zone and both goalies played well, as was expected before the series.
Trotz said he and the Predators are preparing as if that's the way the games will be played going forward in the series.
"Phoenix scored one goal in two games in Nashville and won (Game 4). We scored two goals in Nashville and won a hockey game," Trotz said. "If the games went from scoring nine or 10 goals in a game to one goal in a game, thats how were going to have to win it, and were going to have to be comfortable in that situation."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Coyotes defenseman Rusty Klesla was suspended Sunday by the NHL for one game for his hit on Predators forward Matt Halischuk in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series Friday in Nashville.
Klesla shoved Halischuk from behind into the boards in front of the Coyotes' bench at 6:39 of the first period. Replays also showed Klesla grabbing Halischuk...
PRESS RELEASE: Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla has been suspended for one game for boarding Nashville Predators forward Matt Halischuk during the teams’ Western Conference Semifinal game in Nashville on Friday, May 4, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
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