- Kristen Shilton is a national NHL reporter for ESPN.
New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller received a match penalty and was ejected from Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings for spitting on veteran defenseman Drew Doughty.
The incident occurred late in the first period during a skirmish that broke out after a whistle behind the net. The spitting motion results in an automatic match penalty, and all match penalties are also automatically reviewed by league commissioner Gary Bettman.
Miller could potentially face supplemental discipline, as well. Three years ago, former Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway received a three-game suspension for a spitting incident against then-Anaheim Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson.
The Rangers, who led 1-0 at the end of the first period, killed off the five-minute short-handed situation and quickly scored twice after the Miller penalty ended to chase Kings starting goaltender Jonathan Quick.
New York was already rotating only five defensemen before Miller’s ejection, even though the Rangers had six dressed for the home game. Braden Schneider suited up and skated in warmups, but was not expected to take a shift for “roster management” reasons leading up to Friday’s trade deadline.
New York also dressed Ryan Carpenter without an intent to play him for the same purpose. Keeping them healthy could be key to the Rangers’ deadline plans.
Both Schneider and Carpenter are waiver-exempt — two of the few assets New York has in that position — and can be sent to New York’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut later this week to clear salary cap space. The Rangers would need that room available to acquire forward Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks by Friday. Kane was sent home from Chicago’s road trip Saturday.
New York’s next game is Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
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