Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik said he has no problem with the three-game suspension the NHL levied on him for making contact with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta's head in Game 2 on Saturday night.
Orpik called the decision "fair" while speaking to reporters following Washington's morning skate Monday ahead of Game 3. The league took issue with the nature of Orpik's hit on Maatta early in the first period of Pittsburgh's 2-1 victory in Game 2. Orpik took aim at Maatta long after the puck had left Maatta's stick. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Monday that Maatta is out of the lineup for Game 3.
Orpik described the decision to hit Maatta "a pretty bad mistake."
"It was pretty black and white," Orpik said. "I said that during my hearing yesterday. Just disappointed. It’s a split-second decision you make. Just gotta live with it.”
Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he was disappointed but not surprised by the suspension. He also said Orpik is one of the classiest guys and it is a joke to call him a predator.
Orpik won't be eligible to return until Game 6, if necessary, or the first game of the Eastern Conference finals should Washington advance.