NHL-Downie and Kunitz handed one-game bans for head shots

Reuters

Tue, 19 Apr 21:41:00 2011

Tampa Bay's Steve Downie and Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz were handed one-game suspensions for dangerous hits to the head during Game Three of their Eastern Conference quarter-final, the NHL said on Tuesday.

Kunitz was banned for elbowing Lightning forward Simon Gagne during Monday's game while Downie earned his suspension for leaving his feet to deliver a crushing hit on the Penguins' Ben Lovejoy.

Both players were assessed minor penalties.

"Downie left his feet and launched himself at the head of his opponent and he came from a considerable distance, with speed and force, to deliver the check," NHL senior executive vice president Colin Campbell said in a statement. "Kunitz delivered an elbow directly to the head of his opponent."

The two players will serve their suspensions when the best-of-seven series, which Pittsburgh leads 2-1, resumes Wednesday in Tampa, Florida.

 

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