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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Pitkanen suspended for quarterfinals

Monday, 02.22.2010 / 11:50 AM / All-Access Vancouver

NHL.com

Finland will be without one of its best defensemen when the quarterfinals get under way Wednesday.

Joni Pitkanen was suspended for one game after receiving a game misconduct penalty for hitting Sweden's Patric Hornqvist in the head late in the second period during Finland's 3-0 loss Sunday night. The Finns earned a bye into the quarterfinals by finishing with the fourth best record in the preliminary round.

"He's a key part on the power play and obviously on the breakouts he's such a good skater and mobile defenseman and sees the ice well," defenseman Sami Salo said. "Obviously it's a big loss but it opens up a spot for Janne Niskala."

Niskala has been acting as a seventh defenseman, but he will see more action when Finland faces the winner of the Czech Republic-Latvia game. The former Tampa Bay Lightning blueliner has been playing for Frolunda Gothenburg  in the Swedish Elite League since 2008.