Landeskog on Reaves' match penalty: 'He's on a mission to hurt someone'

Ryan Reaves shoved Ryan Graves down to the ice and kneed him in the face after crosschecking Philipp Grubauer in the back of the head. Reaves was assessed a match penalty for 'intent to injure' and ejected from the game.

With the score 6-1 (soon to be 7-1) and the Vegas Golden Knights' chances to win Game 1 long over, Ryan Reaves was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure.

The altercation occurred in front of the Colorado Avalanche net. After the puck was covered, Reaves skated toward the crease and crosschecked Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer in the back of the head. In the ensuing scrum, Reaves threw Ryan Graves to the ice and kneed him in the face.

"I don't know if you can call that physicality. Reaves, he's on a mission to hurt someone in the third," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said after the game. "That’s what he goes out and does. I’m sure the league will take a look at it. It was intent to injure."

The match penalty, which triggers an automatic review for suspension by the NHL's Department of Player Safety, gave the Avalanche a nine-minute power play to end the game. It was the second such infraction Reaves has been given in the last two years.

A total of 74 penalty minutes were assessed between the two teams in Game 1.

The influx began in the second period. With the Avalanche leading 4-0, Golden Knights forward Mattias Janmark took a shoulder-to-chest hit from Graves at the 8:26 mark, sending him into the boards. Janmark was helped off the ice and Graves was given a minor penalty for interference. Shortly after, Golden Knights forward William Carrier later took back-to-back roughing penalties, first on Cale Makar and then on Graves.

"It's a playoff series, seven games, the game's out of reach and they were going to try to come and play physical," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I think that's to be expected, I think our guys knew that coming into it. I had no problem with the way they played when it comes to that.

"The only play that I really didn't like that was out of the context of the game was the Reaves play on Graves when he was down. Besides that, I think there was some big hits thrown, some clean hits, some of them were a little high and a little late. Besides that, I didn't see anything that was too crazy for playoff time -- except I didn't like that play with Reaves at the end."

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