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Mike Green Suspended Three Games For Illegal Hit On Brett Connolly

The NHL Department of Player Safety has hit Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green with a three-game suspension for his illegal hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brett Connolly. Green's suspension will start on Saturday afternoon, when the Capitals take on the Boston Bruins.

In a video statement, NHL Vice President for Player Safety Brendan Shanahan said that Green's hit was a violation of NHL Rule 48, which prohibits contact to the head.

Green's hit occurred on Thursday, in the Caps' crucial win over Tampa. Even though Dmitry Orlov had already pinned Connolly against the boards during the sequence, Green made contact with Connolly's head using his elbow in a clear violation of Rule 48. This is the second time in Green's career that he has been suspended for an illegal hit. In Green's absence, Dale Hunter will need to call on Roman Hamrlik or John Erksine. Unless Erksine misspoke or was misquoted in an interview with CSN Washington, he hasn't spoken to Hunter in 51 days.

For more on the Caps, please visit SB Nation's Caps blog, Japers' Rink.