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Flying against its normal tradition of looking the other way when marquee players are involved in questionable hits, the National Hockey League announced a modest two-game suspension today against Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin.

The incident took place in the first period of Monday's game against the Carolina when Ovechkin extended his knee while delivering a hit to Hurricanes' defenceman Tim Gleason. Ovechkin was assessed a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct on the play.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average salary, Ovechkin will forfeit $98,844.16. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Ovechkin will miss Washington's next two games - Dec. 3 against Florida and Dec. 5 at Philadelphia. He will be eligible to return Dec. 7 at Tampa Bay.

Ovechkin had a similar knee-on-knee collision with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sergei Gonchar in last year's playoffs that went unpunished. Ten days ago, the Montreal Canadiens lost enforcer Georges Laracque for five games as a result of a knee-on-knee collision with the Detroit Red Wings' Niklas Kronwall.

A former NHL scoring champion and MVP, this marks Ovechkin's first-ever suspension.

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About the Author

Eric was the winner of the Hockey Hall Of Fame's Elmer Ferguson award for "distinguished contributions to hockey writing" in 2001. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario's grad school of journalism, he began covering hockey in 1978 and after spending 20 years covering the NHL and the Calgary Flames, joined The Globe in 2000. More

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