Capitals

Capitals

Nazem Kadri doesn't have the best reputation in the NHL, having made questionable hits throughout his career. And after yet another controversial cross-check on Jake DeBrusk in Game 2 against Boston, Kadri has been suspended for the remainder of the first round against the Bruins, the league announced Monday.

In the last six minutes of the third period, DeBrusk delivered a hit to Patrick Marleau, and in retaliation, Kadri returned a check, bringing up his stick and hands and hitting DeBrusk up high, sending him to the ice. Kadri was given a major penalty on the play and ejected.

The 28-year-old center plays an integral part for the Maple Leafs in their top-6, and Toronto will have to do without him against a tough competitor in Boston, who took three of four games against the Maple Leafs in their season series. He had a goal and an assist in the first two games of the postseason.

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May said prior to Game 3 that the play was dangerous and should be one that's kept out of the league, and therefore, the punishment should have been more severe.

"It's not enough to me for how long he's been suspended. One thing you want to keep out of the National Hockey League is the use of the stick and head shot with the stick," May said. "He should be gone for the entire playoffs, but at least they did something."

 

Kadri's reputation dates a long way back, and has even been seen in the nation's capital. In the Caps first-round series against Toronto in 2017, Kadri delivered a low hit into Ovechkin's knee. He received a two-minute penalty on the play that sent Ovechkin to the locker room.

However, Ovechkin was not injured on the play and returned to action shortly after.

In the last decade, Toronto has been unable to overcome Boston in the first round twice – once in 2013 and again last season, falling in seven games in both series. Last year, the Maple Leafs also saw their 4-1 lead in Game 7 crumble, leading to their elimination.

Toronto will play Boston at home in Game 3 Monday, and DeBrusk will be in the lineup.

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