Matt Niskanen will not have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety for his hit on Sidney Crosby in Game 3,reports Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post.
That means Niskanen will receive no further discipline, including suspension, for the play.
Niskanen received a five-minute major and game misconduct on Monday for a hit to the head of Crosby that forced the Penguins' superstar out of the game. You can see the play in the video above.
“It wasn’t intentional," Niskanen said of the hit after the game. "I’ve seen the replay. In super slowmo, it looks really bad. I caught him high. He’s coming across trying to score. As he’s doing that, he’s getting lower and lower. And when it’s happening that fast, you know, my stick and his head collided. I wasn’t extending, trying to hit him in the head.”
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan would not give any updates on Crosby after the game, saying only he would be "evaluated overnight."
The play caused quite the firestorm as some fans and media members from Pittsburgh seem to believe Niskanen and the Caps intentionally tried to harm Crosby. The only conclusion now that we know no suspension for Niskanen is forthcoming is that the NHL must be in on the conspiracy...or maybe a group of objective observers determined the hit was unintentional by a player who instinctively raised his arms for a hit just as Crosby was falling. One or the other.