Penguins' Neal, Asham suspended by NHL

Penguins' Neal, Asham suspended by NHL
April 18, 2012, 2:46 am
Share This Post

The long days journey into night finally ended for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night when NHL Lord of Discipline, Brendan Shanahan handed out some more suspensions.

Penguins forward Arron Asham has been suspended four games for his cowardly attack of Flyers rookie Brayden Schenn during the first period of Sundays 8-4 Flyers rout in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Asham jumped Schenn from behind and punched him in the back of the head while down on the ice.

The more significant suspension, however, was forward James Neal, a 40-goal scorer this season. Neal was suspended one game for a blind side hit on Flyers rookie center Sean Couturier late in the third period. He will miss Game 4 on Wednesday.

Given the Penguins are down 0-3 to the Flyers, Neals suspension is a huge loss for Pittsburgh going into an elimination game, especially considering his centerman, Evgeni Malkin, has yet to score a goal.

To make matters worse, on Tuesday morning, Pens winger Craig Adams drew an automatic one-game suspension for an instigator penalty in the final five minutes of the game, while coach Dan Bylsma drew a 10,000 fine.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said it didnt matter how many players the club lost, the focus is on staying alive in the series.

It doesnt matter, Crosby told reporters earlier in the day in Pittsburgh. Whoever is out there, weve got to find a way to win. We cant worry about anything else. We cant worry about whos in the lineup.

We cant worry about whats happened the last three games. All of our energy will be going towards winning that game. Thats where our mind has got to be. No one can waste any time or energy worrying about that stuff. If weve got to play with 10 guys, weve got to find a way to win. Thats really what it comes down to.

E-mail Tim Panaccio at tpanotch@comcast.net.