Evgeni Malta, Pittsburgh Penguins’ coach, suspended four games to cross-check Mark Borowiecki of Nashville Predators.

Pittsburgh PenguinsStar Evgeni MalkinFor cross-checking Nashville's games, he was suspended for four games Mark Borowieckiin the eyes.

After holding a hearing with Malkin, the NHL's department for player safety announced Monday the suspension. The league described Malkin's crosscheck as “retaliatory” and “aggressive” in a video explaining its suspension.

Malkin received an initial four-minute double-minor sanction after striking Borowiecki's mouth with his stick during Sunday's second period.

Mike Sullivan, coach of the team, said that it was an emotionally charged game. It's physically demanding, and sometimes it happens. It was a physical game, particularly at the net fronts in areas where it took place.

“We don’t want our best players to be in the penalty boxes, but these guys can compete and they will push back. We would prefer them to be on the ice. They are more likely to win when they're on ice. Geno's competitiveness is one of our favorite things. When you have an emotional game, like today's, these things happen.

After a 2019 one-game ban for high sticking, Malkin is now facing his second suspension. This suspension will cost him $190,000.

He is eligible to return to Detroit on April 23rd.

The Penguins won overtime against the Predators to end a four game skid. They've lost seven of the last ten games, and they are at risk of losing third place in Metropolitan Division.

Malkin missed the 34 first games of the season after undergoing knee surgery. The 35-year-old Russian center has been a point a game player since Jan. 11 when he made his season debut with 17 goals, and 20 assists in 37 games.

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