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NHL suspends Sabres RW Kaleta 5 games for boarding
The Sabres forward shoved Rangers center Brad Richards from behind and into the boards on Sunday night.
The suspension will cost the gritty right winger more than $72,000 in salary, and he won’t be eligible to return until March 17, when the Sabres play at Washington.
The ruling came down a day after Kaleta blindsided Richards in the back and sent him sliding headfirst into the boards in the third period of Buffalo’s 3-2 shootout loss at New York. Kaleta was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct, which resulted in an automatic review by the league’s department of player safety.
In reviewing the play on a video posted on the league’s website, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan noted Kaleta shoved a defenseless player from behind. He added, “Kaleta is in full control of this play, and has ample opportunity to make a better decision.”
The suspension is one game longer than the suspension handed out to Philadelphia Flyers forward Harry Zolnierczyk a day earlier. Zolnierczyk was suspended four games without pay for a charging penalty against Ottawa Senators defenseman Mike Lundin on Saturday.
Kaleta is one of the Sabres’ top penalty killers, and noted for his aggressive style. He has no points and a team-leading 46 penalty minutes in 18 games this season.
The Sabres (9-12-2) are in the midst of a four-game road trip, and play at Carolina on Tuesday.
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