The NHL suspended Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson for two games Friday for his hit to the head of New York Islanders defenceman Thomas Hickey.

Here's an explanation from the NHL:

Johansson will miss the Capitals' games Saturday at the New York Rangers and Sunday against the Ottawa Senators.

The Capitals are already without centre Zach Sill on Saturday as he serves the second of his two-game suspension.

In the first period of Washington's 4-1 victory Thursday night, Johansson struck Hickey in the head with his left shoulder and was penalized for the illegal check.

Johansson said he did not target Hickey's head, and the Islanders defenceman said half of the blame was on him for not having his head up. Hickey left the ice after the hit but returned shortly after and finished the game.

The 25-year-old Johansson had no previous suspension history in his NHL career and had only been penalized three previous times this season.

Johansson will forfeit $40,323 US as a result of the suspension.

The Capitals recalled forward Paul Carey for Saturday afternoon's game at the Rangers.