Jonathan Marchessault: The Golden Knights were “lucky” Darnell Nurse was suspended for pivotal Game 5

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
10 months ago
The turning point of the Edmonton Oilers’ second-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights came late in Game 4.
With the Oilers cruising to a win that would tie the series at 2-2, Vegas defender Alex Pietrangelo levelled Leon Draisaitl with a vicious slash on his wrist. Pietrangelo was handed a five-minute major for slashing and a 10-minute game misconduct penalty.
A couple of minutes later, the puck was deep in Vegas’ zone and Darnell Nurse skated in from the blueline and dropped the gloves with Golden Knights’ defenceman Nic Hague. Nurse and Hague were both given five-minute fighting majors while Nurse also received a 10-minute misconduct for being the instigator.
Since Nurse instigated a fight in the final five minutes of the game, he was automatically suspended for Game 5 of the series. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety upheld Nurse’s suspension and handed Pietrangelo a one-game suspension for his slash on Draisaitl.
The Golden Knights wound up edging out the Oilers by a score of 4-3 in Game 5 before icing the series with a commanding 5-2 win in Game 6. After that, they beat the Dallas Stars in six games in the Western Conference Final before taking down the Florida Panthers in five games to win their first-ever Stanley Cup.
Earlier this week, Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Marchessault appeared on Spittin’ Chicklets to talk about the Golden Knights winning the Stanley Cup. He said that the Oilers were the most difficult opponent that Vegas faced during their run and that the team was “lucky” that Nurse was suspended at the same time as Pietrangelo for Game 5.
Marchessault: “[Pietrangelo’s] slash was as crazy as it can get. He touched the moon and came down on Leon Draisaitl. Phil [Kessel] was like, ‘that was dirty, eh?’ He got a suspension for it, he owned up to it, and came back stronger the next game.”
Bissonette: “You guys must have been nervous because that was a pivotal point in the series. Was that the hardest matchup you guys faced?”
Marchessault: “That had to be the hardest matchup we had. You would have a two-goal lead but you were never safe. That was just an elite team.
The thing is that we had to be disciplined and not get involved in stuff because even four-on-four wasn’t good for us. That was a big factor. The five-on-five game we knew we were better than them, so that’s where we got them. But that was the toughest series for sure.
But Pietro getting suspended for Game 5, we were lucky that [Darnell] Nurse got suspensed at the same time. That was a rule that was written black and white. You can’t go around it. A rule is a rule.”
You can watch the entire interview here. The talk about Alex Pietrangelo’s slash and Darnell Nurse’s suspension begins at 1:29:00. 

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