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NHL official: King's hit a minor penalty at time

The SportsXchange

Kay Whitmore, the NHL supervisor of officiating for the St. Louis-Los Angeles series said Dwight King's controversial hit on Alex Pietrangelo was a minor penalty in the judgment of the officials.

"They see the whole play unfold and they didn't deem in this instance obviously that King drove (Pietrangelo) into the boards," Whitmore said late Saturday night "It was a hit, he was in a vulnerable position, but they didn't deem it violent enough to call a major."

Pietrangelo got up from the boarding penalty, but blood started streaming from his chin and neck when he was treated on the bench. Normally, a sighting of blood changes the penalty to a five-minute major.

"In these situations, if a player is cut to the face, and it's visible right away, instantly, they'll call a major ... in most cases," Whitmore said. "In this case, they didn't see the cut -- the small cut, under his chin from what I've been told -- until up to a minute or so after when they were over by the bench. So it was a delay, a period of time that went by, and it's tough for them to go over and say, 'It's a major now' ... because they didn't see it after the scrum.

"He got off the ice. There was no visible blood. If it was running down his forehead or his cheek, it's automatic. It's a major game-misconduct. In this instance, they didn't see it initially right away. They didn't see the blood running down his chin, in his beard ... one of those things."

Whitmore said he expected Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's head disciplinarian, to review the hit. He's been busy during the playoffs, which have included half-dozen hits that have warranted suspensions.

"I'm sure if something more needs to be done with it, Brendan and his group will be taking a look at it," he said.
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