Capitals' Ovechkin suspended three games for hit on Penguins' Michalek

Chris Harlan
| Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012

The NHL suspended Washington's Alexander Ovechkin for three games Monday for leaping to hit Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek.

However, the NHL decided it would not discipline Michalek for his elbow to the head of the Capitals' Matt Hendricks in the same game Sunday at Consol Energy Center.

Ovechkin and Michalek had separate hearings yesterday with the league by telephone.

This will be the third suspension for Ovechkin, who hit Michalek in the head during the second period Sunday but did not draw a penalty. After review, the league said that the hit should have been called charging.

"Ovechkin launched himself to deliver a check," Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's senior vice president of player safety, said in a video explaining the suspension.

During his hearing, Michalek explained that his hit on Hendricks was not intentional, but he understood the elbowing penalty.

"It was a hockey play," he said. "It was a hit, I guess, from behind. I had my hands up."

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