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Ducks' Andrew Cogliano says streak-ending ban is a 'tough pill' to swallow

As the puck dropped in Monday's 3-1 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche, Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano's streak of 830 consecutive games came to an end.

Watching the iron-man string of contests come to an end from the press box, Cogliano, uninjured and healthy enough to play, said it was a "tough pill" to swallow.

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A two-game suspension for an illegal hit on Kings forward Adrian Kempe on Saturday forced the 30-year-old to the press box, wearing a suit rather than a sweater, and now he has to cope with the loss of something that helped define him as a player.

"I've played hard and I've battled," said Cogliano, whose streak is the fourth-longest in NHL history. "I'm a professional in that I've played a long time and I've now missed a game. ... I'm probably being too dramatic about it.

"I'm sorry my emotions came out for whatever reason. I have had a lot of support. I think there has been a lot of people that have reached out and initiated that I have done something special.

"The more I look back on it, it's pretty cool. I think that playing 830 games in a row, not a lot of guys can say that and I think that's something that I will hold to my heart."

Cogliano maintains that there was no intent to harm Kempe, though he acknowledges that he "probably initiated contact too late."

Until now, Cogliano has never been suspended before during his 11-year NHL career, and he's been nominated four times for the Bill Masterton Trophy for sportsmanship.

He said he was surprised when when Ducks general manager Bob Murray informed him after the game against the Kings that the NHL Department of Player Safety would hold a supplemental discipline hearing the next day.

"I think my shoulders are low, my elbows are low, my knees are bent and I'm in a pretty set position," said Cogliano, who signed a three-year contract extension Friday with an annual average value of $3.25 million. "As it evolves, he tries to make a play back across my body, which ends up maybe initiating some head contact near my upper back area.

"That's what I see. I think there's no injury, he came back and played. At the end of the day from what I've seen, it is a situation where we closed the gap on each other a little bit.

"From my end, there's zero intent to do any sort of head contact or hit a person to injure them. I think it was a situation where I admitted to initiating contact too late and I think it was something that happened that ended up being very unfortunate for me."

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