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UPDATE: Zadorov Avoids Suspension After Heavy Hit

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Nikita Zadorov will be suiting up for Game 7. The Calgary Flames defenceman had a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety today after making contact with Dallas Stars forward Luke Glendening in Game 6 of their first-round series.

But the league determined there would be no supplemental discipline. Game 7 goes Sunday night at the Saddledome in Calgary.

“After thoroughly reviewing all available video and following a telephone hearing today, the Department of Player Safety has determined that there will be no supplemental discipline assessed to Calgary’s Nikita Zadorov for his hit against Dallas’ Luke Glendening,” the league said in a release late Saturday afternoon.
“While there was significant head contact on this play, Zadorov took a proper angle of approach, did not extend outward or upward, and hit through Glendening’s core. Therefore, under Rule 48.1 (i), the head contact was determined to be unavoidable.”

No word on whether the Calgary Flames defenceman will still be looking for Jamie Benn. The two exchanged words as Zadorov left the ice with a few seconds on the clock in Game 6 in Dallas.

The hit took place at 3:50 of the second period in the Flames’ 4-2 loss at American Airlines Center on Friday. No penalty was assessed. Glendening left the game initially. He later returned to the ice but played sparingly with less than five minutes of ice time.

“The referees, sometimes, are put in a tough position,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said after the game. “It’s easier for us to look at the video, slow it down and say ‘That’s a head shot.’

“It’s a head shot. The referee, sometimes, don’t get the best angles. You live with their call.”

Flames coach calls hit a hockey play

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter disagreed with Bowness’ assessment.

“It was a hockey play. I Totally disagree that there should be a hearing when there has been slew foots in this series,” Sutter said after the Flames landed in Calgary on Saturday.

The slew foot plays Sutter is referring to included one on Flames defenceman Chris Tanev in Game 3 and another in Game 4 on Trevor Lewis, which earned him a $5,000 fine from the NHL.

Tanev hasn’t looked entirely healthy in the later stages of this series and was knocked out of Game 6 when Stars winger Michael Raffl landed on him beside the Flames net after scoring. Tanev is questionable to play in Game 7.

“He’ll see the doctors and get some treatments today,” Sutter said of Tanev’s status.

Going the distance after leading the series 1-0 and 3-2, the Flames avoided one potential loss with the Zadorov ruling. But they could still be without one of their top six defencemen in Tanev.

They’ve been playing with seven and 11 forwards the last three games but may need to call in one of their reserves. Likely Connor Mackey.

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