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Ribeiro could face suspension for slash

by Michael Caples / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- Kris Draper said it was like a scene straight out of "Slap Shot". But the NHL might call it a suspension for Stars center Mike Ribeiro, who swung his stick at Chris Osgood, striking the Red Wings' goalie at the end of the game.

“I wasn't sure what he was thinking,” Draper said. “It's an intense series, there's a lot on the line, it's physical. That's just crossing the line."

For his infraction, Ribeiro received a match-penalty, which is automatically reviewed by the league office.

Osgood fell to the ice, and the Detroit training staff rushed to his aid. He eventually skated off on his own.

Last spring, the league issued Anaheim's Chris Pronger a one-game suspension for his hit to the head on Tomas Holmstrom in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. He missed Game 4 in Anaheim.

The Stars accused Osgood of initiating the response from Ribiero, whom they say was the victim of a butt-end of Osgood's goalie stick. But Osgood said if his stick struck the Stars' star center, it was by accident.

"If that's the case, a butt-end to somebody's face at any time is pretty gutless," Stars goalie Marty Turco said. "Just sticking your knob out there is a dangerous play. I've caught guys, my own teammates, around the net and I've seen guys get major injuries to the face. It's something our game doesn't need if that did happen."

At the post-game press conference, Osgood addressed the Stars' comments.
“I was just trying to stand out there to make sure Nicklas Lidstrom didn’t get run, because I could see two guys coming," Osgood said. "Just standing my ground with it. Whether I hit him or not, it was an accident. He probably skated through my stick and that would be it.
“But I don’t think that justified a two-hander over the top of the net. He could have went about it a different way or said something to me.  We’re professionals out there and we can go about it in the right manner.”
Osgood said that the slash struck him in an area of the upper body that doesn't have much padding.
“It did hurt a bit,” Osgood said.  “It was kind of a full swing right to the side, but I’ll be fine, I’m sure.”

Draper said there was definitely an intent to injury on Ribeiro's part.

"He swang from behind the net, a two-hander at Ozzie, our best player right now," Draper said. "The league's been great all year at stepping up and taking care of this stuff. If it's not a goalie, it could be a player in the throat, face, teeth, whatever. You kind of shake your head and what he was thinking. Now it's up to the league to step in and do what they have to do.”

Ribeiro, who did not talk to the media about the incident, was escorted to the team bus outside of the arena by a team spokesman.

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