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Ducks' Corey Perry is suspended four games for hit on Jason Zucker

Perry will be docked $115,000 for what the NHL characterized as 'a late, illegal check' that knocked Zucker out of the game Tuesday in Minnesota.

March 13, 2013|By Helene Elliott

Ducks right wing Corey Perry was suspended four games without pay by the NHL Wednesday after delivering a hit that injured Minnesota forward Jason Zucker Tuesday night in St. Paul, Minn.

Perry, with nine goals and 15 assists this season, will lose $115,135, which will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund, and he'll miss the Ducks' anticipated March 20 home game against Western Conference leader Chicago.

"Although I'm disappointed in the decision, I accept it and move on," Perry said. "I will continue to support my teammates and look forward to getting back on the ice on March 22 against Detroit."

Perry, who was suspended by the NHL four years ago, is not considered a repeat offender within the prescribed 18-month period. Had he been judged a repeat offender, the suspension would have been longer.

Zucker, clearly dazed after being driven into the boards by Perry, had to be helped off the ice and did not return. He was able to skate Wednesday.

Rob Blake of the NHL's department of player safety called the hit by Perry "a late, illegal check."

He said Perry delivered the hit "nearly a full second" after Zucker had released the puck and that Perry made "significant contact" with Zucker's head. Perry got a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. Despite losing Perry, the Ducks rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Wild.

Blake said that although players must be aware of their surroundings and possible hits, "It is perfectly reasonable that Zucker should no longer expect to be hit this long after possession."

Blake also said he accepted Perry's assertion that there was no malice behind the hit but said Perry could have held up.

"He does recklessly make significant contact to the head of a player who was ineligible to be checked," Blake said.

The Ducks (19-3-3) play at Dallas on Thursday and St. Louis on Saturday before returning home to face San Jose and the Blackhawks.

DUCKS AT DALLAS

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.

Record vs. Stars: 0-1.

Etc.: Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth (upper-body injury) is day to day and his ability to play on Thursday will be established after the morning practice skate, a club official said.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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