An independent arbitrator cut Dennis Wideman's suspension in half to 10 games Friday after concluding the Flames defenseman did not intend to injure a linesman when he knocked him to the ice during a game.
Arbitrator James Oldham said he agreed with the NHL's decision to suspend Wideman for abusing an official. But he disagreed with commissioner Gary Bettman's conclusion that there was sufficient evidence to show Wideman deliberately wanted to injure Don Henderson when he hit him during a game against Nashville on Jan. 27.
The NHL said it "strenuously" disagreed with the decision and was determining what it could do next. The independent arbitrator is the final step of the appeals process under the labor deal.
Wideman had served 19 games of the suspension as the appeals process went to Bettman and then Oldham. He will get back $282,258 of the $564,516 in salary he was going to forfeit, and he played Friday night against the Coyotes.
Game highlights: Marc-Andre Fleury became the 20th NHL goalie with 350 victories and the Penguins beat the host Blue Jackets 3-2. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin left the game in the second period with an apparent arm injury. … Vladimir Tarasenko had two goals and an assist, and the host Blues beat the Ducks 5-2.
Around the league: Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban was released from a Montreal hospital after being removed from the ice on a stretcher with a neck injury Thursday. The injury wasn't serious, the team said. Subban said on Twitter he was "feeling good."
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First—1, Clm, Campbell 3 (Boll, Bourque), 5:05. 2, Pit, Letang 13 (Malkin, Kessel), 14:23 (pp). Penalties—Bobrovsky, Clm, served by Clarkson (delay of game), 1:35; Bonino, Pit (roughing), 13:02; Bourque, Clm (interference), 13:02; Boll, Clm (roughing), 13:02; Maatta, Pit (high-sticking), 16:03.
Second—3, Pit, Kunitz 13 (Hornqvist, Crosby), :45. 4, Clm, Atkinson 24 (R.Murray, Campbell), 2:58. 5, Pit, Hagelin 8 (Malkin, Kessel), 4:47. Penalties—Crosby, Pit (face-off violation), 15:40; Bourque, Clm (interference), 18:35.
Third—None. Penalties—Kuhnhackl, Pit (slashing), 14:46; Hartnell, Clm (roughing), 14:46. SOG—Pit 10-15-6—31. Clm 8-9-10—27. PPs—Pit 1 of 3; Clm 0 of 2. Goalies—Pit, Fleury 28-16-6 (27 shots-25 saves). Clm, Bobrovsky 11-14-1 (31-28).