Doan Knocks Letang out of the Game, Downie Responds
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was knocked out of Saturday night's game after taking an awkward spill into the boards. Letang cleared the puck from the Pens' zone, then Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan finished his hit on Letang. The contact was clean and legal, but it sent Letang backwards into the end boards. Letang lay on the ice for several minutes before being helped off by his teammates. Doan appropriately was not penalized on the play. Letang did not return to the game, and was evaluated on Sunday morning. He has a concussion and is out indefinitely.
"That's part of the game," Doan said. "Obviously, [Downie]'s such a character guy on their team and such a big part of their team. He scored a goal to make it 2-1, as well. That says a lot about him. That's the type of guy you want on your team, that stands up for your teammates and goes to the wall for his teammates.
"You hope that they do that for him, too, and that's the way a team works. Obviously, it's a testament to his character and you understand as a player when that happens, there's going to be something that happens back."
About a minute later, Doan and Downie lined up next to each other on a faceoff, and dropped the mitts when the puck dropped. The fight was very even, though Downie was able to fire off three unanswered punches after he wrestled Doan's helmet off. Downie said after the game that he didn't think the hit was dirty, but felt the Coyotes captain needed to answer for knocking Letang out of the game.
“He's a hard player,” Downie said. “He's going to finish his hits. It was unfortunate with the way Tanger fell, but I have nothing but respect for Doaner."
Downie later scored a goal in the Pens eventual 3-2 win.
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