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Did Ristolainen deserve to be ejected for bloodying Koivu?

The Minnesota Wild are making life pretty miserable for the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, but some Sabres fans might be as irritated by a penalty call as they are by the scoreboard (which currently reads 5-0 in favor of Minny).

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was given a five-minute interference major and game misconduct for a hit on Minnesota Wild veteran Mikko Koivu. You can watch video of that hit in the clip above this post’s headline.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety automatically looks at situations like these, but should anything come of it? Some wonder if the call was excessive to begin with.

The hit did leave Koivu bloodied:

Koivu didn’t miss the entire contest, however, scoring a goal (and counting?). Nino Niederreiter continues to victimize the Sabres, generating a hat trick against Buffalo for the second time in his career.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.