- The Washington Times - Monday, March 15, 2010

The NHL Monday suspended Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin for two games for his hit in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime win over the Blackhawks.

Ovechkin’s hit on Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell in the first period earned a five-minute major and game misconduct for the Washington forward, while Campbell reportedly is out for the remainder of the regular season with a broken collarbone as a result of slamming into the rear boards. It was Ovechkin’s third game misconduct of the year, the most in the NHL.

Ovechkin missed practice in Coral Springs, Fla., to have a hearing with the NHL at noon via phone on Monday, and likely the severity of Campbell’s injury caused the league — which has grappled with disciplinary issues over controversial hits since the return from the Olympic break — to hand down the suspension.

The suspension is Ovechkin’s second of the season, and he was given a two-game suspension for a hit on Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason back in November. The incident will also cost Ovechkin $232,645.40 of his salary with the two games lost.

“We have no problem with the way Alex tried to finish his check,” Capitals General Manger George McPhee said in a statement Monday. “Unfortunately, an injury resulted. We are disappointed with the suspension but do not want to comment further.”

Ovechkin, who leads Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin by three points in the NHL’s scoring race and trails Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby by one goal in that race, will miss Washington’s road games in Florida and Carolina, and will return to action Saturday at Tampa Bay.

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