Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steve Downie and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz were each handed one-game suspensions by the NHL on Tuesday after separate incidents that took place during Game 3 of their series on Monday night.
Downie got the single-game ban for leaping at his opponent during a check on Pittsburgh forward Ben Lovejoy at the end boards. Prior to the hit, Lovejoy was able to advance the puck down the ice leading to an early goal for Pittsburgh. The goal negated the penalty Downie was set to receive.
"Downie left his feet and launched himself at the head of his opponent and he came from a considerable distance, with speed and force, to deliver the check," explained NHL Senior Executive Vice President Colin
Campbell in a statement.
Kunitz was suspended for an elbow to the head of Tampa Bay forward Simon Gagne, which sent the Lightning player to the ice in front of the Penguins net. Kunitz was assessed an elbowing minor on the play.
Pittsburgh leads the series 2-1, and both players will miss Game 4 on Wednesday night. Downie and Kunitz are eligible to return for Game 5 on Saturday in Pittsburgh.