Avalanche’s superstar defenseman Cale Makar has been suspended for one game and will be unavailable to the Avalanche for Wednesday’s Game 5 at Ball Arena.

Makar became public enemy No. 1 at Climate Pledge Arena in Game 4 for interfering with and injuring Seattle Kraken forward Jared McCann. The hit, which came after the puck went out of play, was initially a five-minute major for interference but was downgraded to a minor after review. McCann did not return and will miss at least Game 5.

Makar has no prior history of supplemental discipline in the NHL.

“I didn’t really know to be honest with you,” Makar said, admitting he thought the puck was still in play. “I know he got the shot off and then I was just assuming he was going to the corner because it was coming down. So I didn’t really look and then yeah, just unfortunate how it all happened.”

The NHL Department of Player Safety took this into consideration when handing him his suspension. They expanded on it below.

“It is clear that Makar knows McCann is not in possession of the puck when he decides to deliver this hit. While we have heard Makar’s assertion that he assumes the puck would bounce into the corner and the play would continue, the onus is on Makar to ensure this occurs before initiating contact. The result of the play is a body check to a vulnerable player, who is not eligible to be hit that causes an injury.”

Seattle scored on the ensuing power play on its way to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Avs. The series is tied 2-2 heading back to Denver for Game 5 on Wednesday.

The Avs are already without top forward Valeri Nichushkin, who remains out for personal reasons. They’re also missing depth forward Darren Helm and defenseman Jack Johnson. Captain Gabriel Landeskog has missed the entire season and will not play in the playoffs.

In the regular season, Makar missed 22 games, dealing with several injuries along the way. He had 17 goals and 66 points in 60 games. He also has a goal and two assists in the first four games of the series.