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Ovechkin suspended for Capitals' next 2 games

NHL.com @NHL

NEW YORK (AP) -Two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin was suspended Monday for the Washington Capitals' next two games because of a reckless hit.

The forward drove Chicago's Brian Campbell into the boards from behind in the first period Sunday and received a major penalty and a game misconduct. With Ovechkin, who is leading the league in points with 96, kicked out of the game, the Capitals later came back from a 3-0 third-period deficit to win 4-3 in overtime.

"There's nothing I can do right now. He just fell and this happens," Ovechkin said after the game.

Because he also was suspended for two games earlier this season, Ovechkin is now considered a repeat offender under the collective bargaining agreement. He'll forfeit more than $232,000 in salary based on the number of games in the season instead of the number of days.

Ovechkin was suspended for two games Dec. 1 for a knee-to-knee hit on Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason.

Ovechkin will miss games Tuesday at Florida and Thursday at Carolina. He can return Saturday at Tampa Bay.

"We have no problem with the way Alex tried to finish his check," Capitals general manager George McPhee said in a statement. "Unfortunately, an injury resulted. We are disappointed with the suspension but do not want to comment further."

Campbell stayed down for several minutes before he was able to leave the ice with a trainer at his side and then headed to the locker room. He did not return to the game.

The Capitals showed Sunday why they have the NHL's best record and highest-scoring offense. They had three goals in the third period before Nicklas Backstrom scored unassisted in overtime for the win.

The Capitals said Ovechkin missed practice Monday because he had to be on the phone with Colin Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations, to discuss the hit.

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