With less than ten minutes remaining in the Flyers' Game 3 loss to the Washington Capitals, center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Less than 24 hours later, the NHL's Department of Player Safety determined that the hit was worthy of further discipline.
Philadelphia's Pierre-Edouard Bellemare suspended 1 game for checking from behind on Dmitry Orlov. Video: https://t.co/yeyVfkLb4t— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 19, 2016
As the ruling notes, Bellemare had an opportunity to change his path to the puck on the hit, making it less likely that he would make contact with Orlov's back. Instead, the Flyers forward continued on his path and eventually made contact with Orlov, resulting in Orlov's head being driven into the boards. That factor appears to be the driving force behind the decision to suspend Bellemare.
It was an ugly-looking play, but Bellemare did not have a history of questionable hits prior to last night's game, which DoPS noted in their explanatory video as a reason that the suspension is only for one game. The fact that Orlov was not injured on the play also contributed to the ban's length.
With their fourth line center out of the lineup, the Flyers will likely choose between Colin McDonald, Jordan Weal, R.J. Umberger or Taylor Leier as possible options to replace him. If Philadelphia can find a way to win Game 4, Bellemare will be right back in action on Friday night in Washington.