Friday, May 27, 2022

Capitals’ Dmitry Orlov gets two-game suspension for kneeing Jets’ Nikolaj Ehlers

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The NHL handed Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov a two-game suspension Wednesday for kneeing Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers. Orlov drove his knee into Ehlers’ knee during a 4-3 overtime victory for Washington on Tuesday, injuring Ehlers on the play. 

In a video explaining Orlov’s suspension, the NHL department of player safety said Orlov had time to react to Ehlers’ changing position but instead extended his arms and knees out “to attempt to get a piece of Ehlers.” A hit to Ehlers’ upper body as opposed to the knee would’ve been legal, the video added. 

Orlov, who’ll forfeit $51,000 in salary as part of the suspension, will miss Washington’s games at the Boston Bruins on Thursday and home to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. With 53 points, Washington is only one behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers.

This is Orlov’s second career suspension, as the 10-year NHL veteran missed two games for boarding in 2014. 

But while Orlov will miss two games for kneeing Ehlers, the Jets forward himself could be out much longer. Ehlers got injured on the play and will be out of the Jets’ lineup indefinitely. Orlov wasn’t even penalized for the play, a result leaving Winnipeg coach Dave Lowry “disappointed.” 

“If (the officials) would have saw it the same way I saw it, it would probably have been more than a minor penalty,” Lowry said after the Jets’ loss. “I lose a world-class player and it’s a fast game and I have the luxury of watching and rewinding it and watching it in slow motion. You’re disappointed as a coach. I lose a player, and I will probably lose him for more than one game.”

Orlov is eligible to return for the Capitals’ home game against the Vegas Golden Knights next Monday. 

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