(Reuters) - The Nashville Predators have suspended Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn for Game Three of the Western Conference semi-final series against the Phoenix Coyotes after the team’s top two scorers violated team rules.
The Predators did not disclose what rules were broken that led to the ban for Wednesday’s game but said the decision on whether they would play in Friday’s Game Four would be up to head coach Barry Trotz.
“The Nashville Predators have a few simple rules centered around doing the right things,” general manager David Poile said in a statement on Tuesday. “We have always operated with a team-first mentality and philosophy. Violating team rules is not fair to our team and their team mates.”
The Predators are trailing the best-of-seven series 2-0.
Radulov, who rejoined Nashville ahead of the playoffs after spending four seasons in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, is the team’s top playoff scorer with six points. Kostitsyn is second with four points.
Despite the high stakes, Poile said the decision to suspend the two players was an easy one.
“Our creed has always been to try to do the right thing,” Poile told reporters. “I try to do that in my personal life so I certainly should do this in my business life.
“We’ve just done the right thing, we’ve put the team ahead of a couple individual players and we’ll see where we go from here.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue