EARLY IN THE third period of Tuesday night's 4-2 win, Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas delivered a hard hit to Mika Zibanejad after the Ottawa forward controlled a faceoff win in the Senators' offensive zone.
The blow to the head knocked Zibanejad out of the game, but Gudas wasn't penalized. Wednesday, though, he was given his punishment.
The NHL's Department of Player Safety announced in the morning that Gudas would indeed have a hearing for potential supplemental discipline. And Wednesday evening, it suspended Gudas for three games.
In a detailed video, the Department of Player Safety outlined why Gudas, 25, was suspended for the first time in his career. The burly defenseman, who led all NHL blue liners in hits (117) entering Wednesday's action, "lunged forward from a crouched position, raising his forearm" to deliver a "blow to the head" of Zibanejad, according to the DPS.
Gudas made the head a point of contact in his hit.
The criteria used for the three-game suspension were the following: an illegal check to the head; injury to the player hit (Zibanejad is day-to-day, "doubtful" for Thursday's game against Chicago); and a lack of supplemental discipline history for Gudas. If there was any, he likely would have received a longer sentence.
"I don't necessarily agree with the league's decision, but I accept and respect it, and I'll move on from here and prepare myself for when I return,'' Gudas said in a statement."
The "injury" criteria is of interest to Flyers fans, because of the lack of discipline handed to Zac Rinaldo for his hit Oct. 21 in Boston that concussed Sean Couturier.
Gudas will be out until at least next Thursday's game at St. Louis. He will forfeit nearly $16,000 in earnings. The Flyers did not make any corresponding roster moves Wednesday night.
After landing in Philadelphia late Tuesday night (Wednesday morning), the Flyers had an optional skate before returning to the ice for a full practice Thursday . . . On Friday, they'll travel to the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., to face the Devils, starting a stretch of three straight games against Metropolitan Division opponents. It continues Saturday night at home against Columbus before another home game Tuesday against the visiting Islanders . . . General manager Ron Hextall intimated in Ottawa on Tuesday that rehabbing forwards Ryan White (upper body) and R.J. Umberger (lower body) were getting close to returning to the lineup, but it's a matter of being ready to play as opposed to medically cleared . . . Forward Sam Gagner reportedly skated on his own Wednesday for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury against Carolina on Nov. 23 . . . Defenseman Nick Schultz (upper body) was held out of the lineup Tuesday night after taking a hard hit Saturday in New York. It's unclear whether he'll be ready for the weekend.