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Will Kris Letang get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson?

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Following the big Game 3 win, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a huge cloud hanging over them for the status of their best defenseman Kris Letang, thanks to his late hit on Marcus Johansson of the Washington Capitals.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

In the first two games of the Pittsburgh Penguins / Washington Capitals series, the worst hits were thrown by the Caps.

In Game 3, Kris Letang would do the dirt with this inexcusably reckless and dumb hit on Caps forward Marcus Johansson

Here's another look from a different angle.

The natural comparison is to the Orpik hit, since both were late and did apparent damage to the head. Both also drew weak 2-minute minors for interference, when 5-and-a-game were probably more appropriate in both cases. However, the game moves fast and that's why there is supplemental discipline to levy more punishment.

However, there are a couple important differences between the Letang and Orpik hits.

Johansson would return for the 2nd period and play as normal. Which, like it or not, the NHL also takes into consideration when they look at doling at extra discipline.

One never knows what to expect when it comes to NHL justice, Department of Player "Safety" style. Wilson probably should have had a seat, he didn't. Most expected 1, maybe 2 games for Orpik and he got a relatively hefty 3 playoff game suspension.

You would have to think that the Penguins need to prepare to spend at least 1 game without Letang, and it would be difficult to argue any differently. He stepped up and made an unnecessary hit late on a player that he had no reason to do so on, especially considering the Pens were winning 2-0 at that point of the game. There's no excuse for that, and Letang deserves to be at the mercy of the suspension hearing, which will be a very tough blow for his team to take.