Two-game elbowing suspension for Suter, who had ‘no reason’ to hit Downie

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Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter has been suspended two games for elbowing Pittsburgh’s Steve Downie on Tuesday night, the NHL has announced.

“Having poked the puck away from Downie and to a Minnesota teammate, Suter has already broken up the play when he delivers this blow,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “He therefore has no reason to initiate any body contact with Downie, who no longer possesses the puck.”

The incident occurred early in the second period of the Penguins’ 7-2 victory. Full video explanation here:

The league notes that while Downie left the game and didn’t return, he did not suffer an injury on the play; it also mentions that Suter has no previous disciplinary issues prior to this punishment.

As a result of this suspension, Suter will now miss Minnesota’s next two games — Thursday at Buffalo, Saturday at Xcel versus Arizona — and forfeit $81,058.72 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Wild’s Koivu: Kind of game we’ve been playing lately is embarrassing

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The Minnesota Wild hit a new low on Tuesday when they suffered a 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was their 12th loss in 14 contests and sixth defeat in a row.

After the game, the Wild held a players-only meeting and while the particulars weren’t revealed, it wouldn’t be hard to guess the tone of that discussion.

“The only way is to do a lot of things better,” Wild captain Mikko Koivu said, per the Star Tribune. “It’s not one thing or two things. It’s a lot of things that have to change. The way we play, the way we do things on a daily basis. It’s everything. Every single detail. Everything. It has to be better. With this effort and the kind of game we’ve been playing lately, it’s embarrassing and every single guy should feel that.”

If you’re getting a sense of deja vu, it’s because Wild coach Mike Yeo also said “everything” was wrong with Minnesota on Saturday. Given that his team has since been outscored 11-3, it seems his words didn’t light a spark under them. Instead, the Wild have done little to prove him wrong.

Zach Parise alluded to as much when he pointed out that they’ve been asking how they should get out of this slump for about three weeks now.

“We’re not getting out of it,” Parise said. “We’re so easy to play against. We lose battles, we don’t bump off draws, the details of our game are terrible. We don’t even make it hard on the other team. They tic-tac-toe right around us. Can’t happen.”

On top of all of that, the Wild might have to go on without defenseman Ryan Suter as he has a hearing regarding his high hit on Steve Downie last night.

The Wild are eight points out of a playoff spot as they prepare for Thursday’s game against Buffalo.

Related:

Roenick: It’s time to fire Wild coach Mike Yeo

Video: Pens use four-goal third period to thump the Wild

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David Perron had two goals and an assist while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined for five helpers in the Penguins 7-2 rout of the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night.

Paul Martin, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang each had a goal and an assist in the win.

Marcel Goc and Brandon Sutter also scored for Pittsburgh.

Jonas Brodin and Justin Fontaine had the Wild goals.

Minnesota has now gone six straight games without a win.

Wild defenseman Ryan Suter could be facing supplemental discipline for his elbow to the head of Penguins forward Steve Downie. Suter has a phone hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

Niklas Backstrom was pulled after allowing six goals on 35 shots. John Curry made one save in relief.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots to improve to 22-7-4 on the season.

Wild’s Suter has a hearing Wednesday for his hit on Steve Downie

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Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter has a phone hearing for his elbow to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Steve Downie.

The hit occurred early in the second period and Downie did not return to the game.

“I reached for the puck and kind of poked it and then… I hope he’s alright obviously,” said Suter post-game. “That’s not the type of player I am. It was kind of a flukey thing. He kind of just brushed my arm, my elbow as he went by. I poked for it (the puck) and then I went to get my stick. I just hope he’s alright. That’s not the type of player I am. I personally never want to see anyone get hurt.

“I’m skating backwards. It was unintentional.”

Suter said he had a word with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby at the end of the second period.

“I just told him ‘Sid you know what kind of guy I am’ and he said ‘yeah’. So I just asked him to say sorry and hopefully he’s alright,” said Suter.

Suter was not penalized on the play. He has not received supplemental discipline previously.

Video: Pens’ Downie takes an elbow to the head from Suter (Updated)

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Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter delivered an elbow to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Steve Downie early in the second period tonight.

Downie left under his own strength, but has not returned to the game.

Suter did not get a penalty on the play.

Here is a look at the hit:

Update: