Canadian NHL roundup: Habs’ Max Domi suspended for rest of pre-season

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi has been suspended for the remainder of the NHL pre-season after punching Florida defenceman Aaron Ekblad during an exhibition game.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety made the announcement Thursday following an afternoon hearing with Domi.

The punch came at the start of the third period of Wednesday’s pre-season game. Domi began tugging on Ekblad’s shirt, asking him to fight. With the Panthers star showing no interest to drop the gloves, Domi punched him in the face twice, but still Ekblad didn’t respond.

Watch video of the fight:

Montreal winger sucker punches Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad. 0:30

Domi then dropped his right glove and sucker punched him right on the nose, and the bloodied Ekblad dropped to the ice. Domi was given a minor, major and match penalty on the play.

Ekblad was taken off the ice and underwent the NHL’s concussion protocol, which he passed.

Domi, who was making his first appearance as a Canadien after coming to Montreal in an off-season trade that sent Alex Galchenyuk to Arizona, met with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Thursday.

Gallagher gets 2 points in Habs’ win over Capitals

Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist as the Montreal Canadiens earned their first win in three tries in the pre-season, beating the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals 5-2 on Thursday at the Videotron Centre.

The Habs bested a Caps line-up that featured captain Alexander Ovechkin in his pre-season debut, as well as playoff star Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Michael Chaput, Jacob de la Rose, Artturi Lehkonen and Rinat Valiev also scored for Montreal. Charlie Lindgren stopped 11-of-13 shots for the win.

Tomas Tatar, making his debut with the Canadiens after coming to Montreal in the trade with the Vegas Golden Knights for former captain Max Pacioretty, earned a point and first star.

Ovechkin and Connor Hobbs scored for the Capitals. Pheonix Copley stopped 20-of-24 shots before giving way to Vitek Vanecek, who made three saves in relief.