The Devils will be without defenseman Dalton Prout for Tuesday’s rematch with the Flyers at Prudential Center after the NHL suspended him for two games on Monday for his hit on Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas in the second period of the Devils’ 3-0 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday night.
Gudas checked Devils rookie left wing John Quenneville, since re-assigned to Albany (AHL), and then began skating off toward the Flyers’ bench for a line change. Prout, jumping over the boards as the Devils changed personnel, collided with Gudas in the neutral zone at 7:59 of the second period.
Gudas went down and was helped off the ice, though he returned to finish the second period before exiting and not playing in the third period and Gudas did not play in the Flyers’ 4-3 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
Prout then fought the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds. Prout was assessed a five-minute major for interference on Gudas, a five-minute fighting major and a game misconduct as he compiled a career-high 20 penalty minutes.
Prout, considered a repeated offender by the NHL, was also fined $38,414.64.
In the explanatory video on Prout’s suspension, it was ruled Gudas’ hit on Quenneville was a “hard, legal bodycheck” and that Prout “immediately targets Gudas for retribution” with a “forceful hit on the unsuspecting and defenseless Gudas.” The NHL noted the puck was nearly the full length of the ice away when Prout ran into Gudas, who, the NHL noted, was skating with his head down, “fatigued.”
The NHL ruled Prout made “no attempt to join the play in any manner and instead targets a vulnerable player for the sole purpose of exacting retribution.” The NHL also notes that while Prout’s hit on Gudas was “not incredibly violent,” Gudas was “not prepared for a hit of any kind.”
Prout, then with the Blue Jackets, was previously suspended for one game for delivering a punch to an unsuspecting opponent, the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov, on March 13, 2016. That time, Prout was fined $5,779.57.