Colton Sissons avoids suspension after cross-checking Penguins player in the face

BY Pete Blackburn • June 9, 2017

The Predators have avoided losing at least one key piece as they head into Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final with their backs against the wall.

Center Colton Sissons was facing a possible suspension for cross-checking Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta late in Thursday's blowout Pittsburgh win. Sissons caught Maatta directly in the face with the shaft of his stick, though Maatta seemed to already be falling down as it happened. Regardless, Sissons was given a match penalty for the play.

According to the NHL rulebook, any player that is on the receiving end of a match penalty is suspended from further competition until the league makes a ruling on the incident.

Fortunately for Sissons and Nashville, the ruling came back in their favor.

That could have been a significant loss for Nashville, as Sissons has been centering the team's top line since Ryan Johansen went down with a season-ending injury in the Western Conference Final. Sissons has six goals and six assists in 21 games this postseason.

The Predators will have to hope they have similar luck with defenseman Ryan Ellis, who suffered an injury during Game 5 and didn't return. His status for Sunday's Game 6 is still up in the air.

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