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Soucy suspended one game, Zadorov fined for cross-checks on McDavid

Vancouver Canucks defenceman Carson Soucy has been suspended one game for cross- checking Edmonton Oilers star Connor MacDavid in the face at the end of Game 3 of their playoff series on Sunday. Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet, back centre, Carson Soucy (7), Conor Garland (8) and Teddy Blueger (53) watch from the bench after the team was called back out to the bench to play the final 0.6 seconds during the second period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Nashville Predators, in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, April 30, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

EDMONTON — Vancouver Canucks defenceman Carson Soucy has been suspended one game for a cross-check on Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid.

A skirmish began after the final buzzer sounded in Vancouver's 4-3 victory in Game 3 Sunday after Soucy shoved McDavid behind the Canucks' net and McDavid responded by hitting Soucy's leg with his stick.

Canucks blue liner Nikita Zadorov then cross-checked McDavid from behind, and Soucy cross-checked the Oilers captain in the face as he was falling.

Soucy was handed a minor penalty for the play and the NHL's Department of Player Safety handed down a one-game suspension Monday, saying in a video that the defenceman's actions were "not a hockey play" and deserved additional discipline.

Zadorov was fined US$5,000 by the NHL, the maximum amount under the collective bargaining agreement.

Vancouver leads the best-of-seven second-round series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Tuesday night in Edmonton.

Soucy told reporters Monday that he wasn't trying to injure McDavid on the play.

“It’s just an unfortunate incident due to some timing. … Obviously there wasn’t intent to get a player up that high," he said before the suspension was announced.

“Emotions run high in those scrums at the end of the game.”

Missing game time would be difficult, the 29-year-old defenceman said.

“It would suck, obviously, at this time, in a tight series like this, in a physical series," Soucy said. "I know guys will step up if that is the case. But it sucks having to watch your team.”

McDavid said Monday he was "feeling great" and didn't want to talk too much about the incident, other than calling it "part of a heated series."

“It’s a tough game. They’ve got big d-men. They make it hard on you. They play physical, they play a physical brand of hockey and it’s fun to be a part of," said the Oilers captain.

"It’s a fun series to be a part of. Obviously, two Canadian teams going at it, there’s a lot of passion.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2024.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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