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Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan was hit with a three-game suspension by the NHL on Monday. ((Christian Petersen/Getty Images))

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan has been suspended three games by the NHL for his late hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Dan Sexton Sunday night.

The league announced the suspension Monday afternoon.

"Doan delivered a late hit from the blind side to the head of an unsuspecting opponent," said Colin Campbell, the NHL's executive vice-president of hockey operations.

"While it was fortunate that Sexton did not suffer an injury, the message should be clear that this is the type of hit that we want out of our game."

Doan will miss games against the Los Angeles Kings (Oct. 21), Carolina Hurricanes (Oct. 23) and Montreal Canadiens (Oct. 25). He will also forfeit $73,387.11 US in salary as a result of delivering the hit.

The Coyotes captain is eligible to return Oct. 26 against the Ottawa Senators.

The incident occurred in the third period of the Ducks' 3-2 win in Anaheim when Doan delivered an open-ice check in the neutral zone after Sexton passed the puck. Sexton was not injured and remained in the game.

Earlier in the same contest, Doan took out Cam Fowler along the boards. Fowler's head was pinned between the boards and Doan's knee on the play, and he was forced to leave the game.

Fowler suffered a broken nose on the play, but the Ducks revealed Monday that he is expected to accompany the team on its upcoming road trip and is likely to play in Wednesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Doan did not receive a penalty for either hit.