Alex Ovechkin has been suspended three games by the NHL for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek last Sunday. He will miss Tuesday's game against the Boston Bruins, as well as games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers after the NHL All-Star break. Brendan Shanahan, former Detroit Red Wings star and current senior vice president of player safety and hockey operations, explained the suspension:
Ovechkin left his feet to check Michalek during the second period of the Washington Capitals' 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh. Ovechkin was not penalized for the hit, nor did Michalek have to sit out a shift. The NHL obviously did not like what they saw upon further review, however.
This will be the third suspension of Ovechkin's career. He was forced to sit out two games during the 2009-10 season after making knee-to-knee hit on the Carolina Hurricanes' Tim Gleason. He sat another two games for boarding defenseman Brian Campbell, now of the Florida Panthers.