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Kings' Dustin Brown suspended one game for hit on Tampa Bay's Mikhail Sergachev

The Kings will be without Dustin Brown when they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday after the forward was suspended one game following a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Brown was penalized for kneeing Tampa Bay defenseman Mikhail Sergachev in the second period of Saturday's game in Florida. That earned Brown a penalty and an ejection, punishment the league increased on Sunday.

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The fact that Brown is a repeat offender likely figured in the league's decision. Just three weeks ago he was fined $10,000 for cross-checking Justin Schultz of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was suspended two games in 2013 for an illegal elbow to the head of Minnesota's Jason Pominville.

Brown is third on the team in points (38) and goals (16) and is fourth in assists (22), so his absence, even for a game, comes at a bad time. Brown leads the team with a plus/minus rating of plus-25 and his average ice time of 19 minutes, 17 seconds a game is second among forwards.

The Kings, trying to keep up in a Pacific Division playoff race that is starting to heat up, already are without forward Trevor Lewis, who returned to Southern California on Saturday to be examined by the team's medical personnel. Lewis was injured Friday in the opener of the team's season-high seven-game trip after crashing headfirst into the boards in a game against the Florida Panthers.

In addition to missing a game, Brown will also forfeit one game's pay, or $31,586.02. The money will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11

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