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PRO HOCKEY / DAILY REPORT : KINGS

Stevens Pleased as Punch on Ruling

November 03, 1996|HELENE ELLIOTT

No news was good news for Kevin Stevens, who spent most of Saturday wondering if he would be suspended after the NHL reviewed his blindside punch of Ottawa's Lance Pitlick Wednesday.

After hearing nothing from the league, Stevens correctly assumed he would not be suspended. An NHL official told the Kings that Brian Burke, senior vice president, had looked at the tape and saw no reason to impose a suspension. Stevens may still be fined.

Stevens couldn't understand the suspense. "He punched me first and I came back and hit him," he said. "He must have turned his head and didn't want to fight. I didn't just grab the guy and punch him. I thought we were going to fight."

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The only better news for Stevens Saturday was his second-period goal, his second this season and fifth in 33 games since being acquired from Boston for Rick Tocchet. Stevens leads the team with 44 shots on goal, so it's not that he hasn't been getting chances. And even though this goal went in off his chest, he was grateful for it.

"I'm in the right place. I was going to the net," he said. "Some nights I have seven shots and get nothing and then I get one like that.

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