K’Andre Miller could face lengthy suspension for match penalty

It was an accident according to K’Andre Miller, but it’s one that may cost him and the New York Rangers up to three games.

In yesterday’s gutsy 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, Miller was given a match penalty with less than five minutes left to play in the first period for spitting at Drew Doughty. This forced the Rangers to play with just four defensemen for the rest of the game.

“I was just shocked, obviously. I don’t even know if I said anything to him after, but I just immediately went to the ref to try to get the penalty,” Doughty said via ESPN. “It’s unfortunate, and whether or not he meant to do it, I have no idea. … I was pretty pissed.”

K’Andre Miller could be suspended for 3 games

new york rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Per multiple reports, Miller said it was unintentional and reconciled with Doughty after the game. According to nhl.com writer Dan Rosen, it was a “good conversation” between the two combatants.

“The kid feels bad about it and said it was an accident,” Gerard Gallant explained. “I didn’t see it, but he didn’t deny it.”

Remorseful or not, there’s a precedent for spitting on an opponent with Garnet Hathaway getting three games back in 2019. In that incident, Hathaway very intentionally spits at Erik Gudbranson as the ref is trying to separate them.

“He’s absolutely going to face supplemental discipline,” TSN’s Craig Button said. “Garnet Hathaway got suspended for three games and I would expect it to be three games.”

If Miller is suspended, the Rangers can call up a defenseman for Wednesday’s game against the Flyers, but that will likely push the expected Patrick Kane trade to Thursday. The Rangers rolled four defensemen, purposely keeping Braden Schneider on the bench not to risk injury. They did so to send him to the AHL, which was done immediately after the game accruing cap space to bring in Kane by Wednesday.

Miller, 23, has six goals and 30 points in 60 games this season for the Rangers. If he misses anytime, it will be a challenge for the defense, who is already out without Ryan Lindgren (day-to-day) with a shoulder injury.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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