Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov suspended 1 game for high sticking

NEW YORK -- Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended one game for high sticking Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs.

The NHL announced the suspension, Kuznetsov's first for on-ice play, Tuesday after his phone hearing with the department of player safety.

Kuznetsov swung his stick and hit Burroughs in the face with his blade late in the second period of the game Monday night. He was given a two-minute minor penalty, and the Canucks scored on the ensuing power play.

In a video announcing the suspension, the league called it "an intentional stick swing toward an opponent that makes high contact" and said the purposeful nature of the swing and where it landed on Burroughs made it rise to the level of a suspension.

The 30-year-old from Chelyabinsk, Russia, will miss Washington's game Thursday at Ottawa and forfeit $42,162 in salary. He's eligible to return Saturday against Los Angeles.

Kuznetsov's suspension is another blow for the Capitals, who lost winger Connor Brown to a lower-body injury in the Canucks game. Their absences could open the door for young forwards Connor McMichael and Joe Snively to make their season debuts.

This is Kuznetsov's fourth run-in with the league. He was fined $2,000 for diving in 2017, suspended three games for off-ice conduct in 2019 and fined $5,000 for high-sticking last season.

Kuznetsov had three assists against Vancouver and trails only Alex Ovechkin in points among Capitals players.