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Golden Knights’ Ryan Reaves faces possible suspension after punching Avalanche’s Ryan Graves

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Golden Knights’ Ryan Reaves faces possible suspension after punching Avalanche’s Ryan Graves in the back of the head as Colorado players say he was ‘on a mission to hurt somebody’

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Ryan Reaves could be facing his second postseason suspension in as many years after drawing a match penalty for injuring Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves in their second-round opener on Sunday.

Reaves was scheduled to have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday. 

The 34-year-old punched Colorado defenseman Ryan Graves in the back of the head and took him down to the ice. His actions ignited a brawl and led to a nine-minute power play for the Avalanche. 

Reaves was whistled for a double minor for roughing and a match penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct at 8:04 of the third period during the Knights’ 7-1 setback to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of their second-round series on Sunday.

Graves remained on the ice for several minutes before retreating to the locker room.

‘I don’t think you can call that physicality, to be honest with you,’ Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog said. ‘Reaves is on a mission to hurt somebody in the third and that’s what he goes out and does. I’m sure the league will take a look at it, intent to injure.’

Reaves was suspended for Game 1 of the 2020 Western Conference final following an illegal check to the head of Vancouver Canucks forward Tyler Motte. Reaves also was banned three games for boarding in 2016.

Reaves recorded five points (one goal, four assists) in 37 games this season. He has 101 points (49 goals, 52 assists) and 937 penalty minutes in 686 career games with the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins and Golden Knights.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane poked fun at Reaves on Twitter afterwards, saying he should be forced to play more rather than be suspended.

‘Instead of a suspension they should have to play him 20 minutes a night for the rest of the series,’ Kane tweeted.

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