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NEW YORK (AP) — Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson’s 20-game suspension for an illegal check to an opponent’s head in a preseason game was upheld by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.In a 31-page decision announced a week after Wilson’s nearly 7½-hour appeal hearing Kyle Brodziak Jersey Womens , Bettman determined that the initial ruling by the Department of Player Safety on Oct. 3 “was supported by clear and convincing evidence.”The NHL Players’ Association appealed on Wilson’s behalf, arguing that his hit did not break a rule and so there should have been no suspension at all — but that if there were to be one, 20 games was “excessive” and eight would have been more appropriate.The right winger, who plays on the reigning Stanley Cup champions’ top line with Alex Ovechkin, can now appeal to a neutral arbitrator.Wilson was ejected for his hit on St. Louis Blues center Oskar Sundqvist in the second period of the teams’ exhibition game on Sept. 30, causing a concussion Jakob Silfverberg Jersey , cuts to the face and a sprained right shoulder.Wilson’s fourth ban in less than 13 months is costing him nearly a quarter of the 82-game regular season — only five NHL players have been suspended longer for on-ice play — and $1.26 million in salary.The video released earlier this month to explain the punishment says: “Wilson delivers a high, forceful hit, which makes Sundqvist’s head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable and causes an injury.” It also admonishes him for taking “a poor angle of approach.” In the original ruling, the league noted that Wilson “is considered a repeat offender” — and, indeed, this is hardly the first time the sixth-year player has been in trouble for the way he has taken out an opponent. He was suspended twice because of preseason hits a year ago http://www.officialducks.com/authentic-adidas-john-gibson-jersey , then had to sit out three games during the playoffs for a check to the head that broke Pittsburgh Penguins center Zach Aston-Reese’s jaw and caused a concussion.During its appeal, the NHLPA contested the characterization of Wilson as a repeat offender, saying that a preseason ban should be treated the same as a fine, and that his postseason ban’s duration was “improperly inflated” by “according more weight to the value of the playoff games missed due to a prior suspension.” The union also argued that if the hit was illegal, it was improper “by mere inches.”Bettman ruled that Sundqvist’s head was the main point of contact and that such contact was avoidable on the play.“Head checks are a matter of great concern to the league, our clubs and our players Authentic Josh Manson Jersey ,” Bettman wrote.The Capitals see Wilson as a vital part of the franchise, and general manager Brian MacLellan — who testified at the appeal hearing — signed him to a $31 million, six-year contract this offseason.Wilson doubled his career high with 14 goals and set a new mark with 35 points last season, when he was the only NHL forward with 30-plus points and 90-plus penalty minutes, finishing with 187 and a league-high 41 minors. Then he contributed 15 points in 21 games during Washington’s run to its first championship. MONTREAL (AP) Petr Mrazek went from a backup goaltender on a losing team to a starting job for a playoff contender when Detroit traded him to Philadelphia. And he understands the pressure that comes with his new role.Mrazek stopped 28 shots for his fourth shutout this season, and Sean Couturier scored in the sixth round of the shootout to give the Flyers a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.Mrazek is 3-0-0 since the trade Ondrej Kase Jersey , and the Flyers have won a season-best six straight overall.”We got two points tonight against a team that’s out of the playoffs. They can play loose,” Mrazek said. ”It was hard for us to play them. But we stuck together and we played really well.”Every shutout is special for a goaltender but I’d rather take the win.”Philadelphia moved into the top spot in the Metropolitan Division over Washington, which lost at Columbus. The Flyers have earned points in 12 straight games (10-0-2).Backup goalie Charlie Lindgren made 33 saves for Montreal, which has lost eight of nine. The Canadiens have been shut out nine times this year, tying a franchise record.Both teams scored one goal after five shootout rounds before Couturier beat Lindgren in the sixth.Lindgren got credit for his second shutout in his 12th career game.”He’s one of those guys who right from the get-go, he’s come in here and made saves Rickard Rakell Jersey ,” Brendan Gallagher said of Lindgren. ”He has a tendency of making big saves at crucial times in games to keep you in it. You appreciate that because it bails you out at times.”Definitely a good player.”The Flyers had a few chances to win before the shootout.Travis Konecny hit the post in overtime before Lindgren robbed captain Claude Giroux on the doorstep with 20 seconds remaining in the extra frame. The Flyers also failed to capitalize on a power play late in the third period.”It was definitely a challenging game and it made it a little bit fun,” Konecny said. ”(Lindgren) played real good tonight. It was harder for us because we’ve never played against him. He stood on his head tonight.”These teams met six days ago, with Philadelphia coming out on top 3-2 in overtime. Montreal’s Carey Price suffered a concussion in that game when he took a shot to the mask.Lindgren did what he could to prevent another loss.The 24-year-old saved a shot by Couturier with his mask late in the first period. In the second, Oskar Lindblom charged hard to the net but Lindgren stood his ground to keep the shot out.Lindgren set the tone for the third period with a toe save on Konecny’s wrist shot.NOTES: The Canadiens and Flyers were relatively quiet before Monday’s NHL trade deadline. Montreal shipped defenseman Joe Morrow to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2018 fourth-round pick. They also picked up blue-liner Mike Reilly from the Minnesota Wild for a 2019 fifth-rounder. … Philadelphia’s only move at the deadline was claiming Johnny Oduya off waivers from the Ottawa Senators. … The Flyers had lost six consecutive games in Montreal (0-4-2) before Monday. … Philly’s last regulation loss was Feb. 1. … Montreal has earned points in four straight games (2-0-2).UP NEXTFlyers: Host Carolina on Thursday night.Canadiens: Host the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.—
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