Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews will have a hearing on Monday for cross-checking Buffalo Sabres defenceman Rasmus Dahlin at the Heritage Classic, the NHL's department of player safety announced.
The incident occurred late in the third period, with the Maple Leafs trailing 4-2, when Matthews and Dahlin got into it in front of the Sabres net, before the Rocket Richard winner's cross-check caught Buffalo's defenceman in the neck area. Dahlin then attempted a punch to retaliate.
"I haven’t seen the replay of it. It’s battling in front of the net. I felt like I kind of rode up his shoulder and his shoulder pad rolled up a little bit. That’s hockey,” said Matthews after the game. “It’s competitive out there. Guys are physical and trying to compete."
Dahlin chalked it up to something that happens in the heat of competition.
“It’s hockey,” he said. “Things happen out there. It’s intense. I’m fine.”
Matthews, a two-time Lady Byng finalist, has never been been suspended or fined through six NHL seasons.
He scored his league-leading 45th goal of the season in Toronto's 5-2 loss.