In the closing seconds of the opening game in the Eastern Conference final, played in Kazan on Friday evening, Ak Bars defenseman Stepan Zakharchuk received a major plus game misconduct penalty (5+20 minutes) for checking to the head and neck area, after appearing to strike Sibir forward Oleg Gubin from behind. The KHL Disciplinary Committee has reviewed the episode and supports the referee’s decision.
As Zakharchuk has a history of earning penalties for fouls involving blows to the head of opponents, the Committee has imposed an additional punishment of a one-game suspension. Furthermore, this was the player’s second 20-minute penalty of the current season, following a previous game misconduct against Dinamo Minsk in February, and this incurs an automatic one-game suspension. Stepan Zakharchuk is therefore disqualified from Game 2 and Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final series.