Vegas Golden Knights
Pietrangelo Calls Out Oilers for Premeditated Hits, ‘It’s Pretty Obvious’
The Vegas Golden Knights won Game 5 despite playing without defenseman Alex Pietrangelo who delivered a two-handed chop to Edmonton Oilers star forward Leon Draisaitl near the end of Game 4. Pietrangelo served his one-game suspension after a hearing with NHL Player Safety Thursday.
Pietrangelo didn’t necessarily strike a remorseful tone and instead indicated his slash was retaliation for what the Golden Knights perceive as premeditated hits, legal and otherwise.
“It’s pretty obvious what’s going on, but at the end of the day, we’ve got a job to do,” Pietrangelo said. “They’ve got a job to do, and we’ve got to close it out tomorrow.”
The Golden Knights can win the series by winning Game 6 at Rogers Place. They lead the series 3-2.
According to Natural StatTrick.com, Pietrangelo has already taken 39 hits in the NHL Stanley Cup playoff run.
“It’s pretty obvious what’s going on. I mean, it’s premeditated stuff, I’m pretty sure, coming at me,” Pietrangelo said. “But (NHL Player Safety) didn’t really seem to care in the meeting. But I’ll get up and take it. I’m not going to lay on the ice like what’s going on, (what) we’ve been seeing. So I’ll get up and play the game the way it needs to be played.”
Evander Kane avoided supplemental discipline in Game 3 when he charged from center ice to cross-check Pietrangelo at the end of the first period. Kane was penalized on the ice, but no further.
Pietrangelo could also be referring to the numerous cross-checks the Oilers have delivered on Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone, who missed several months due to a back injury. Stone left the lineup in mid-January but didn’t return until the playoffs.
There have been a few obvious targeted cross-checks, including Game 4 when Edmonton scored after Kailer Yamamoto flattened Stone with a hard cross-check from behind. Stone was slow to get up, and Edmonton used the numbers advantage on the rush for a goal.
The puck drops for Game 6 at 7 p.m. PT Sunday.
Video courtesy of the Vegas Golden Knights: