During the third period of Colorado’s 7-1 victory, Reaves punched Graves in the back of the head, threw him to the ice and continued to go after him when he was down, receiving a match penalty for intent to injure.
“Reaves continues the altercation, using his body weight to force Graves’ head into the ice,” the league said in its suspension video. “As both the officials and other players attempt unsuccessfully to separate the two, Reaves continues to push forcefully down on the vulnerable Graves, eventually ripping his helmet off. During this scrum, both the officials and Reaves acknowledge that a chunk of Graves’ hair was pulled out by Reaves.”
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Reaves and his teammates were upset at Graves for his hard, late hit that injured Mattias Janmark in the second period. Graves received a two-minute minor for interference.
The league noted Reaves’ disciplinary history. He has been fined twice, was suspended one game for a hit to the head in last year’s playoffs and was suspended for three games for boarding in 2016.
“Reaves is on a mission to go out and hurt somebody in the third (period), and that’s what he goes out and does,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said Sunday.
Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer spoke up for Reaves during Monday’s media availability before the ruling.
“It’s not hard to defend Ryan Reaves,” he said. “To me, Ryan Reaves is one of the cleanest tough guys that I’ve seen in the league in my 12, 13 years.”
Reaves will be eligible to return in Game 4. The Golden Knights trail the second-round series 1-0.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ryan Reaves suspended for scrum with Ryan Graves