Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has been suspended for three games by the NHL for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek Sunday, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.
The offending hit came during the second period of Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime win Sunday. Just over four minutes into the period, Ovechkin left his feet before drilling Michalek into the boards. Ovechkin's shoulder also made contact with Michalek's head during the hit, even if it was not the principal point of contact. No penalty was called on the play and Michalek did not miss a shift afterwards, but that apparently was not enough for the NHL.
This will be Ovechkin's third career suspension. During the 2009-10 season, the league suspended Ovechkin two games for making a knee-to-knee hit with the Carolina Hurricanes' Tim Gleason and another two games for boarding former Chicago Blackhawks/current Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell.
Ovechkin will miss Tuesday's game against the Boston Bruins, which is Washington's last game before the All-Star break. The final two games of his suspension will be served after the All-Star Game, though he is eligible to play in the All-Star Game if he so chooses.
Ovechkin will be eligible to return February 4.
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