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Sens' Michalek may face suspension for kick

Ottawa Senators' Milan Michalek celebrates after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers during second period of Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff hockey game in Ottawa April 18, 2012.

BLAIR GABLE/REUTERS

The Ottawa Senators are going to Game 7, but they may have to do so without one of their top veterans in the lineup.

The NHL is investigating Sens winger Milan Michalek over allegations he kicked New York Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi with his skate late in Game 6 on Monday night in Ottawa.

The incident happened right after the Senators scored a controversial late goal to pull within one with under a minute remaining in the game. Girardi was lying on top of Michalek, who appeared to use his skate or leg to shove him away.

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There isn't great video of the incident available, but you can see the play happening in front of the net here just after the puck enters the net.

Michalek is No. 9 and Girardi wears No. 5, and you can clearly see the pair struggling with one another until Girardi is pushed away at the end.

There is some precedent for this, as the league is very careful about any incidents involving skates. Carolina Hurricanes youngster Jeff Skinner was suspended two games for kicking last month even though there was no injury.

"Any intentional or reckless use of the skate blade in this manner is extremely dangerous and unacceptable," Brendan Shanahan said in that video.

Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan was also suspended two games for a "stomp" in last year's playoffs.

Will Michalek get a similar punishment? Well, unless the league has much better video available than we do, my sense is they won't keep him out of a Game 7.

But if Michalek has a disciplinary hearing, that news should come out sometime Tuesday afternoon.

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UPDATE No suspension - just a warning from Brendan Shanahan.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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