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Hockey

Ducks’ Nick Ritchie suspended two games for punching Chicago’s Michal Rozsival

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Ducks forward Nick Ritchie (37) tumbles over Buffalo Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson (31) during a game on March 17.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Ducks wing Nick Ritchie was suspended two games for roughing Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival, the NHL announced Friday.

Ritchie will miss the regular-season finale Sunday and Game 1 of the playoffs. He was given a match penalty for punching Rozsival in the third period Thursday as retribution for Rozsival’s cross-checking penalty on Corey Perry.

The NHL’s Dept. of Player Safety, in its explanatory video, cited Rozsival’s unwillingness to engage Ritchie in a fight. The department’s Twitter account described the incident as “roughing/sucker punch.”

“[Rozsival] has his hands to his sides and gives no indication that he is a willing combatant in a potential fight, or is in any way prepared for the altercation to escalate,” the video states.

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The fracas ensued with Chicago’s Jordin Tootoo. Asked about the incident after the game, Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said, “[Ritchie] did go after Rozsival and Rozsival had a chance to defend himself and chose not to. But more surprising to me is the three punches that Tootoo got away with in the pile — he was hammering away — that seems to go unnoticed.”

It is the first suspension of Ritchie’s career. The third-line forward, 21, has a career-high 14 goals and 28 points in his first full NHL season.


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