Ovechkin suspended for 2 games

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Alex Ovechkin's latest on-ice indiscretion netted him a two-game suspension, a sore right knee and a new level of concern from his coach about his "pretty reckless" ways.

The league's reigning two-time MVP was suspended for two games without pay yesterday by the league for a knee-to-knee hit on Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason.

Ovechkin's first NHL suspension will cost him $98,844.16 in salary. He will sit out tomorrow against Florida and Saturday at Philadelphia, although his sore knee might have kept him out of one of the games anyway.

"I regret that this has happened," Ovechkin said in a statement released by the team.

"I'm glad that Tim wasn't injured because I never ever want to see anyone get hurt."

The initial concern was Ovechkin would be out longer with a serious knee injury. The Capitals said yesterday he was day to day with a sore knee.

After two years of letting Ovechkin be Ovechkin, coach Bruce Boudreau said it might be time for a heart-to-heart talk,

"He's pretty reckless. It's hard telling a guy that scores 60 goals a year to change the way he plays.

"At the same time, I don't want to see him getting hurt. Maybe he has to pick his spots a little better."

Panthers

Neither the NHL nor his team will suspend Florida defenseman Keith Ballard for accidently whacking his own goalie Tomas Vokoun with a stick to the head Monday in a temper tantrum after a goal by Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk. Vokoun, carried out of the arena on a stretcher, was feeling much better yesterday with only a sore ear and no hard feelings.

Elsewhere

Forward Marc Savard, who had 25 goals and 63 assists last year, signed a seven-year contract extension with the Boston Bruins. ... The Montreal Canadiens' sale to the Molson family was approved by the NHL board of governors. ... The Columbus Blue Jackets placed defenseman Rostislav Klesla on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. ... The Minnesota Wild right winger Antti Miettinen returned after missing three games with swine flu. ... Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo will miss 8 to 12 weeks after his lower right leg was cut by Washington defenseman Karl Alzner's skate and required surgery.



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