Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri leaves Game 3 with injury in first period after hit from behind

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri left Game 3 of the Western Conference finals with an injury after a hit from behind by Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane on Saturday night.

Kane was given a five-minute major for boarding after cross-checking Kadri from behind into the end boards just 1:04 into Game 3, the Oilers’ first home game of the series. Kadri was trying to control the puck in the Oilers’ zone. Kane put his stick across Kadri’s jersey numbers and shoved him into the boards.

The Avalanche defeated the Oilers, 4-2, to take a 3-0 series lead.

Video review confirmed a five-minute major penalty for boarding. Kadri left the ice after just one shift and did not return in the second period. The Avalanche said he was still being evaluated after the hit and his status to return was questionable. The Oilers killed off the major penalty.

The loss of Kadri is significant. The veteran had 14 points in the team’s first 12 postseason games, which was tied for fourth on the high-powered Avalanche before Saturday. That number includes six goals.

JT Compher moved up to center the line with Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen, and scored the game-winning goal in the third period.

Under NHL rules, Kane could have been assessed a match penalty if there deliberate intent to injure on the play, or he could have been assessed a game-misconduct penalty if the foul resulted in an injury “to the face or head of an opponent. ” The officials felt Kane’s actions did n’t rise to either standard.

If the incident rises to the level of supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety, Kane’s last infraction was a $5,000 fine for kneeing Sean Durzi of the Los Angeles Kings. He was last suspended in February 2020, getting three games for elbowing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk.

Kane’s 21-game suspension in September for violating the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 protocol would not factor into any suspension for an on-ice incident.

With the road win, Colorado improved to 11-2 this postseason.

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