Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said Penguins star Evgeni Malkin played up a knee-on-knee collision “like he was dead” Monday night. It wasn’t the only controversial play Monday, as Columbus defenseman Dalton Prout hit Pittsburgh winger Sergei Plotnikov with a series of vicious crosschecks. Prout won’t be further disciplined.
Who would have thought the 2013-14 first-round playoff series between the Blue Jackets and Penguins would result in one of the most heated rivalries in the league? And as if tempers between the two teams weren’t hot enough, Columbus coach John Tortorella may have thrown more fuel on the fire by calling out Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin.
In the second period of the Penguins’ 5-2 victory over the Blue Jackets, Columbus center Boone Jenner clipped Malkin with a knee-on-knee hit that sent him flipping to the ice and clutching his knee in pain. Following the hit Jenner dropped the gloves and fought Penguins winger Scott Wilson, and Jenner was given an additional two minutes for tripping:
Malkin was temporarily out of the game and missed close to five minutes of action, but was able to return for the back half of the second frame and took regular shifts in the third period. Malkin capped the game off with an empty-net goal.
Following the game, Tortorella was asked if he thought Jenner could potentially face either a fine or suspension for his knee on Malkin. Tortorella responded as only he could.
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“He got up, didn’t he?” Tortorella said. “It’s like he was dead, and then he was out the next shift.” The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reported Tortorella also added he didn’t think Jenner’s collision with Malkin was “too hard.”
The incident between Jenner and Malkin wasn’t the only questionable moment in the game, however. With time winding down, the Penguins dumped the puck into the Blue Jackets’ zone and Pittsburgh winger Sergei Plotnikov gave chase to Columbus blueliner Dalton Prout. Plotnikov caught Prout with a solid, clean check, to which Prout reacted by delivering several crosschecks to the back and head of Plotnikov:
Prout was issued a double-minor for crosschecking and Plotnikov was fine, but some thought Prout may have earned himself a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. According to Portzline, Prout will not face suspension or discipline for his crosschecks.
(Video via DKPittsburghSports)