NEW YORK — Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele was suspended for four games by the NHL on Thursday night for a crushing late hit on Montreal’s Jake Evans in Game 1 of the second-round series.
Evans was taken off the ice on a stretcher with 57 seconds left Wednesday night in Montreal’s 5-3 victory after being hit in the head and shoulder area an instant after tucking in an empty-net goal. Evans chased down the puck behind the net, tightly circled back around the goal cage and scored just before Scheifele’s sent him crashing to the ice. Scheifele was given a major for charging and a game misconduct.
Evans sustained a concussion. He was not taken to a hospital.
The NHL department of player safety said Schefiele “finishes his check violently and with unwarranted force into Evans, making significant head contact in the process and causing an injury.”
“It is apparent to our department that his intention on this place is to deliver a hard, violent check to an opponent with the outcome of the play and the game already decided,” the department of player safety said.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night in Winnipeg.