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Canucks' Soucy suspended 1 game, Zadorov fined $5,000 for post-game crosschecks on McDavid

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The Vancouver Canucks will be without a key defenceman when they face-off against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series Tuesday night.

The National Hockey League suspended Carson Soucy for one game for a cross-check he delivered to the face of Oilers captain Connor McDavid after time expired in the Canucks’ Game 3 victory.

Soucy said he spoke to McDavid on the ice in the aftermath of the post-game incident, explaining he didn’t intentionally hit him in the face.

"He obviously was pretty fired up because, like I said, it looks bad. Obviously, it probably felt bad,” Soucy said. “But ultimately I was just like, there was no intent to get you up that high. It's just emotions run high in those scrums at the end of the game."

The Canucks were on their heels in the final frantic moments of the 4-3 game as the Oilers sought the tying goal.

As the final horn sounded, Soucy found himself standing next to McDavid behind the net and shoved him.

McDavid responded with a two-handed slash to Soucy’s leg and Soucy responded in kind before raising his stick to chest-height with both hands.

That’s when fellow Canucks defenceman Nikita Zadorov delivered a stiff cross-check to McDavid’s back which sent him tumbling forward just as Soucy delivered his own cross-check.

"I don't want to get into it too much. Obviously, we are still waiting on decisions and things like that so I'm not going to comment on it too much other than it's just part of a heated series,” McDavid said after Oilers practice Monday.

Soucy had a telephone hearing with the league’s Department of Player Safety Tuesday morning.

By the time McDavid spoke to the media, the NHL had already announced a $5,000 fine for Zadorov’s role in the melee – and shortly after tweeted a link to a video detailing the reasons for Soucy’s suspension.

Noah Juulsen is expected to replace Soucy in the lineup for Game 4 on Tuesday night.

"He's been a big contributor all year and played in some tough spots so we're really confident in Juuls. That's why we got him,” said head coach Rick Tocchet.

Juulsen has just one game of playoff experience in his NHL career and it came in the Canucks first round series against the Nashville Predators earlier this postseason.

The product of Surrey, BC said he is looking forward to another opportunity.

"I think excited for sure. Obviously it's an environment that everyone wants to play in so I'm just excited if it happens and I get that call,” he said.

The Canucks lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. 

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