Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin has been suspended by the NHL for the second time this season, drawing the latest ban for his hit Sunday on Chicago's Brian Campbell.
The league suspended Ovechkin for two games for a "reckless hit", stemming from his actions in the first period of Washington's 4-3 win over the Blackhawks.
The Russian forward shoved Campbell near the Chicago end line, sending the defenceman sprawling shoulder-first toward the boards at the United Centre.
After being attended to by a trainer, Campbell skated off under his own power but did not return.
"There's nothing I can do right now. He just fell and this happens," Ovechkin said after the game.
Campbell reportedly hurt his clavicle and ribs, although the Blackhawks have yet to officially reveal the extent to which he's injured. He will, at the very least, miss the team's three-game road trip this week.
Ovechkin was sent to the penalty box, but after a five-minute major for boarding was assessed, he skated to the dressing room as a result of the automatic game misconduct the penalty carries.
"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."
The Blackhawks scored once on the ensuing power play but blew a 3-0 lead in the matinee affair, nationally televised in the United States.
Ovechkin was given two game misconducts earlier this season, the first for a boarding play against Buffalo and the second for a kneeing incident on Carolina's Tim Gleason that eventually led to a two-game suspension.
Washington is playing three times in a five-day span beginning Tuesday. Ovechkin would be eligible to return on Saturday for a road game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In addition to the suspension, Ovechkin forfeits over $232,000 US in salary, to be directed to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.