The Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks engaged in a rather chippy affair Thursday night, and rookie winger Max Domi is going to have to pay for his involvement in a late-game fight.
Domi, 21, has been handed an automatic one-game suspension for receiving an instigator penalty in the final five minutes of the tilt. With two and a half minutes left in the Thursday’s game, Anaheim winger Ryan Garbutt ran over Arizona defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson at the Ducks blueline, sending the Coyotes defenseman flying into the boards. Even though the hit was clean and Garbutt didn’t take a penalty for it, Domi took exception to the Coyotes’ star blueliner being sent into the boards.
Domi and Anthony Duclair chase Garbutt up ice, where Duclair landed a slash on Garbutt’s ankle before Domi gave Garbutt a cross check. With Garbutt still facing the opposite direction, Domi dropped his gloves, spun Garbutt around and began delivering punches to the Ducks winger. Garbutt didn’t drop his gloves, but was still given a fighting major:
Domi was slapped with 17 minutes in penalties, including a game misconduct, fighting major and instigating penalty, which is what resulted in his suspension. Domi’s suspension falls under rule 46.22, which states a “player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes of regulation time, or at anytime in overtime, shall be suspended for one game, pending review of the incident.”
For his part in the altercation, Duclair was given minors for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct. As for Garbutt, he was handed an interference penalty (on Duclair, according to the box score) to go with his fighting major.
“Frustration comes out in a game like that,” Domi said post-game. “Obviously, we're struggling. When they go after our best player, that's just how hockey works. It is what it is.”
Domi is the Coyotes’ second-leading scorer this season with 17 goals and 43 points in 64 games. The one-game suspension means he can come back to action March 7 when Arizona heads to Colorado to play the Avalanche.