The Flyers will be without one of their veteran defensemen on Friday night as they look to close out their series against Montreal as the Department of Player Safety announced (video link) that Matt Niskanen has received a one-game suspension for his cross-check on Brendan Gallagher late in Wednesday’s contest.
The incident occurred with just over five minutes remaining in the third period. In their video describing the reason for the suspension, the league noted that they accepted Niskanen’s statement that he wasn’t trying to hit Gallagher in the head and that Gallagher’s sudden movement just before the cross-check occurred was a contributory factor to the hit landing on his head and not lower. Gallagher suffered a broken jaw on the play and will be out for the rest of this series at the very least.
With Niskanen out of the lineup, it may pave the way for Shayne Gostisbehere to return. He suited up in the first two games of the series before being scratched to make room for Robert Hagg. Gostisbehere has a history of success against Montreal; they are the only opponent that he has averaged more than a point per game against with 14 points (2-12-14) in 13 games.