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Predators Baffled Refs Overturned Major Penalty On Spencer Stastney Hit



Photo of Spencer Stastney by David Russell for Nashville Hockey Now

Not even five minutes into the first period, Nashville Predators defenseman Spencer Stastney had left the ice and was in the locker room getting evaluated after Vancouver Canucks forward Dakota Joshua sent him face-first into the glass behind his own net.

Joshua was initially assessed a major penalty but the officials overturned it to a two-minute boarding minor after reviewing the play — a decision that irked head coach Andrew Brunette and the rest of the Predators’ bench.

“I didn’t like [the reversal],” Brunette said. “You know, we lost a player and I didn’t get an explanation. I didn’t ask. They saw it a certain way and we have to live with it.”

Stastney returned nearly three minutes later in the first period and played two minutes and 25 seconds on three more shifts. He took four more shifts in the second period totaling three minutes and one second, only to leave the ice and miss the rest of the game with an upper-body injury.

Stastney averaged 13:10 of ice time in Game 1 and Game 2, and though he was held without a point, he had a +1 rating and led all Predators defensemen in expected goals per 60 (0.82), and he ranked second in shots on goal per 60 (2.28), per Money Puck.

Losing Stastney for any amount of time would be a big blow to the Predators defense. Arguably Nashville’s fastest skater, Stastney’s speed has been a saving grace against a Vancouver offense that pushes the pace and creates a lot of odd-man rushes and breakaway attempts.

The team confirmed there was no update on Stastney after the game but said more information should be available in the coming days.

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_

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