Buffalo’s Skinner suspended 3 games for illegal cross-check

Dec 9, 2022, 9:48 PM | Updated: Dec 10, 2022, 11:55 am
FILE - Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) skates during the first period of an NHL hockey g...

FILE - Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) skates during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. The NHL suspended Skinner three games on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 for an illegal cross-check to the head of Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel in a 4-3 overtime loss on Friday night.(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL suspended Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner for three games on Saturday following an illegal cross-check to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.

Skinner and Guentzel had an altercation late in the third period of Pittsburgh’s 4-3 overtime victory on Friday night. The two exchanged slashes before Skinner cross-checked Guentzel twice. The second cross-check was to Guentzel’s face just below his visor.

Guentzel was called for slashing. Skinner earned a minor for misconduct, a 5-minute major and a match penalty.

The league’s Department of Player Safety ruled that Skinner “aggressively and purposefully” struck Guentzel. Skinner will lose forfeit $145,945 in salary for missing three games.

This is the second suspension of Skinner’s 13-year career. He was suspended two games in 2012 while playing for Carolina for kicking St. Louis forward Scott Nichol with the bottom of his skate.

The Penguins and Sabres were scheduled to finish a home-and-home series on Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

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Buffalo’s Skinner suspended 3 games for illegal cross-check