Dec 7, 2013, 11:09 PM EDT
Neal was assessed a minor penalty for kneeing in the first period of Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins. The Penguins’ forward was skating up the ice when he clipped Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand with a knee.
Marchand had been tripped to the ice and was on his stomach when it appeared Neal intentionally hit Marchand with his knee.
“He’s already going down and I guess I need to try to avoid him, but I have to look at it (on replay) again,” Neal told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but I’m not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that.”
Neal scored seven seconds after his penalty expired, giving the Penguins a 2-1 lead at the time. The Bruins came back with goals one minute and 16 seconds apart to record a 3-2 win.
Zdeno Chara scored the winner with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.
Because Neal’s hearing is over the phone and not in person, any suspension he receives can’t exceed five games.
He does have a history of supplemental discipline. He received a one-game ban in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. In 2009, as a member of the Dallas Stars, he was handed a two-game suspension for a hit from behind on Derek Dorsett, as per NHL.com.
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