Oilers’ Nurse suspended one game for head-butting Kings’ Danault

The Hockey Central panel discusses Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse's head-butt on Los Angeles Kings forward Phillip Danault from late in the second period of Game 5, and why a one game suspension is a fitting punishment.

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse has been suspended one game for head-butting Los Angeles Kings forward Phillip Danault in Game 5 of their first-round series on Tuesday, the NHL’s department of player safety announced Wednesday.

The ruling means Nurse will miss Game 6 on Thursday in L.A. The Oilers trail the best-of-seven series 3-2.

[brightcove videoID=6305960956112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

The decision was made after the NHL held a hearing with Nurse earlier Wednesday.

The incident occurred with 9.3 seconds remaining in the second period of Edmonton’s eventual 5-4 overtime loss on Tuesday, when Nurse used his head to make contact with Danault, who was near the crease after Oilers goaltender Mike Smith froze the puck following a save. Nurse did not receive a penalty for his actions.

The 27-year-old has been suspended once in his career for serving as the aggressor in a fight with then-San Jose Sharks defenceman Roman Polak in 2016.

[brightcove videoID=6305918514112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

The rearguard led all players in ice-time on Tuesday, playing 26:23. The next closest player on the Oilers was Cody Ceci at 22:31.

In five games this post-season, he has one goal, one assist, a plus-five rating and 16 penalty minutes.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.