NHL hands Stars' Cody Eakin four-game suspension

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Friday, December 16, 2016

The NHL has suspendedStars forward Cody Eakin for four games for charging Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist during the teams' game Thursday in Dallas.

Lundqvist left briefly after getting bowled over behind the net by Eakin. His mask was knocked off as he played the puck along the end boards.

Eakin received a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct.

"The league better do something about that hit,'' Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said afterward. "It's everything that you want to take away from the game. A hit to the head, forward motion and it's a goaltender on top.''

Stars coach Lindy Ruff defended Eakin.

"I understand the call. As a penalty killer, he's trying to gain speed so he can get back. I know it doesn't look that way, but there was no intent on his part,'' Ruff said.

Lundqvist said he didn't see Eakin coming at him before he was knocked to the ice. He stayed down for a bit and left the game for 5 minutes.

"[The trainer] came out and told me, 'You have to leave right away.' Did a quick test and tried to rush to come back out there because I really wanted to play," Lundqvist said.

Lundqvist finished with all 27 saves for New York, including 18 in the second period. It was his first action since Dec. 6.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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