Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has been suspended two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for launching himself into Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel during Saturday’s 4-2 loss in Los Angeles.
As a result, Shattenkirk, who was assessed a charging penalty on the play, will sit out Sunday’s game in Anaheim as the Caps look to halt a three-game losing streak. He’ll also miss Tuesday’s game against the Western Conference leading Wild at Verizon Center.
The suspension is the first of Shattenkirk’s career and the first for a Washington player this season. The penalty in question came late in the third period and was Shattenkirk’s third minor of the game.
In the video that accompanied the NHL’s announcement of the suspension, the league noted that the 28-year-old blue liner launched himself excessively up and into Gravel and made “significant” contact with Gravel’s head.
Additionally, the video pointed out, both of Shattenkirk’s skates were “well” off the ice when the contact was made.
Gravel was stunned momentarily by the impact but remained in the game.
With Shattenkirk out, Coach Barry Trotz figures to turn to Nate Schmidt, who had been paired with Brooks Orpik prior to Shattenkirk’s arrival via trade earlier this month.
Shattenkirk has four assists in six games with the Caps.
He’ll also forfeit more than $47,000 in salary as a result of the suspension.