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Kings' Dustin Brown suspended two games by NHL [Updated]

April 24, 2013|By Helene Elliott and Lisa Dillman

Kings captain Dustin Brown was suspended two games by the NHL for an elbow to the head of Minnesota’s Jason Pominville during the second period of the teams’ game in St. Paul, Minn.,  Tuesday night, a club official said Wednesday.

The suspension, the first imposed against Brown by the league, will keep him out of the Kings’ game at Detroit Wednesday night and the team’s season finale against San Jose on Saturday at Staples Center.

Pominville was woozy after the hit and did not return to the game.

Both games Brown will miss are crucial to the Kings, who are vying for the No. 4 playoff seeding in the West and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They currently hold fourth place over San Jose on a tiebreaker.

Brown had a telephone hearing Tuesday morning with Brendan Shanahan, the league’s chief disciplinarian. Afterward, the league informed the Kings of its ruling.

[Update, 3:45 p.m.: Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, speaking a couple of hours before the game against the Red Wings in Detroit, expressed his dismay with the ruling.

"Obviously we were disappointed in the decision, quite honest," Sutter told The Times. "Because it was exactly what Brownie says is exactly what happened. There was no intention, or leading. When you’re playing your wrong side, you protect the puck on that side of the ice. That’s what you do, you keep two hands on your stick.

"His elbow was up. Pominville ran into his elbow. Brownie wasn’t intentionally looking for somebody or looking for the players’ head. But the other side of it, it’s elbow-head contact.”

There was a bright side that the coach managed to find.

"Two games -- that’s what we live with. At least we know we have him for Game 1,” Sutter said of the Kings' playoff opener.

He spoke about being on the call with Brown and Brendan Shanahan, the league’s chief disciplinarian.

"Brendan played the game ... and he played his off-wing the very same way Brownie played, if you think about it,” Sutter said. "He totally understands that too but ultimately he’s the guy making the decision. That’s the way it goes."]

Perhaps anticipating the decision would leave them shorthanded, the Kings had recalled forward Tyler Toffoili from their American Hockey League farm team in Manchester, N.H. Toffoli had been assigned there last week to help Manchester in its playoff quest.

In eight games with the Kings this season, Toffoli had two goals and five points.


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