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Tampa Bay Lightning's Steve Downie, Penguins' Chris Kunitz suspended 1 game for Game 3 hits



Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Steve Downie and Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz were suspended one game each for separate incidents in Pittsburgh's 3-2 victory Monday in Game 3 of the East quarterfinal. Both will sit out Wednesday's Game 4.

Downie left his feet to clobber Ben Lovejoy in the chest/shoulder area. Downie would have been called for at least charging but the Penguins scored on the delayed penalty. Kunitz hit Simon Gagne with a blind-side elbow and was given two minutes, but the blow clearly violated Rule 48 which prohibits blind-side and lateral blows to the head.

"I was coming though the middle and getting ready to finish a check like I usually do and the puck was reaching on him," Kunitz said. "I had my arms in a bad spot up in the air anyways, and he (Gagne) kind of spun and turned back towards me. I went to brush him in the shoulder and I got him in the head. Not very responsible on my side. I got got definitely be careful. I'm glad he is okay and finished the game."

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said the play was uncharacteristic of a hard-nosed, but clean player.

"He plays hard and he plays with an edge," Bylsma said. "But I think that's the first time he's had a hearing in an awful long time with the league. A stand-up, straightforward guy."

[Last modified: Thursday, May 19, 2011 12:15am]


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