The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov for two games for boarding Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn.
Midway through the third period of the Flyers' eventual 5-4 overtime victory on Sunday afternoon, Orlov, seeking retaliation for a heavy hit that Schenn delivered seconds earlier, drove the Flyers forward into the corner boards, drawing a five-minute major.
"While it is true that Schenn takes a look over his shoulder and is aware that Orlov is behind him, this does not give Orlov the green light to finish his check from behind and with such significant force," the league explained. "The onus is upon Orlov to avoid this check entirely or, at the very least, to minimize it. Instead, recognizing that it is Schenn, Orlov retaliates for the earlier hit by exploding up and into the hit to deliver a violent check."
Without Orlov, the Capitals will be without one of their top-four defensemen in their rematches against the Flyers on Wednesday and the Boston Bruins, who they defeated 4-2 this past weekend, on Thursday.
In what could be a corresponding move, Washington recalled Jack Hillen from his conditioning stint with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. The 28-year-old has not played in an NHL game since fracturing the tibial plateau in his right leg on Oct. 3.
If Hillen is not ready to be activated from long-term injured reserve, other possible replacements include Nate Schmidt, who has appeared in 29 games for Washington this season, or Julien Brouillette.
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