Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik had a phone hearing with the NHL’s Department of Players Safety on Sunday afternoon, and has been suspended for three games for his hit on Olli Maatta in Game 2.
Orpik’s shoulder went into Maatta’s chin, injuring the Penguins defenseman. He is expected to miss Game 3, and Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan is expected to have a clearer update on Maatta Monday.
“I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability, but I’m probably not optimistic, though,” Sullivan told ESPN on Sunday.
The Capitals defenseman was given a two-minute penalty for interference almost six minutes into the first period. He will not be allowed to return to the series until Game 6, if the series even goes that far.
Now, the Washington Capitals will have to figure out how to survive without one of their best defenseman in the lineup. This will be the second time Orpik will miss three games in this postseason; he was injured during the first round after being hit by Flyers forward Ryan White.
The Capitals do understand the severity of Orpik’s actions, however, they do not believe they were intentional.
“Orpy’s an honest hockey player,” Capitals winger Marcus Johansson told CSN. “He plays tough and hard and honest, I think. You know, sometimes stuff happens, I guess.”
The Capitals will face the Penguins in Game 3 in Pittsburgh on Monday.
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.