The Penguins did not officially know that center Jordan Staal would be in their lineup Wednesday night against the New York Islanders until early afternoon, when the NHL decided not to uphold a one-game suspension. They did not expect Staal to be punished beyond the major penalty and match penalty he received a night earlier for punching Brandon Prust of the New York Rangers. "I didn't think there would be a suspension," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "I didn't think there would be with the rules in place. I was relieved they interpreted it that way." Late in the second period of what became a 4-3 shootout win for the Penguins, Staal joined a scrum after Prust sent Tyler Kennedy sprawling with a hard check. Sticking up for his linemate, Staal exchanged a couple of shoves with Prust, then caught Prust on the jaw with his gloved left hand. "Stuff like that happens in hockey," Staal said. "I just kind of reacted to a few plays that happened. It was not what I wanted to do, but it happens in hockey." Asked if Prust might have embellished by dropping to the ice and grabbing his face, Staal said: "That's one of those spur-of-the-moment things. You're not really sure what happened, and the next thing you're going to the [penalty] box. "I was a little surprised when the ref told me I had to get out of there. I obviously wasn't happy about it." Under NHL Rule 21.2, a player who receives a match penalty gets an automatic one-game suspension, but the league reviews such plays and has the option of rescinding the suspension. The match penalty Staal received was for intent to injure.
NHL revokes Staal's suspension
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Feb 3