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Garbutt suspended two games for ‘reckless’ knee-on-knee hit


Dallas forward Ryan Garbutt has been suspended two games for kneeing Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, the NHL announced on Thursday.

The incident occurred midway during the third period of Dallas’ 3-2 win on Tuesday night. Garbutt was whistled for a two-minute tripping penalty; Hall wasn’t injured and remained in the game:

Following the game, Garbutt’s coach -- Lindy Ruff -- expressed displeasure with the hit. From the Dallas Morning-News:

The Stars led 3-2 in the third period when Garbutt took what Ruff called a “reckless” penalty. The Stars survived what ended as an 11-second power play, but that did not lessen Ruff’s discontent.

“It’s something he has a tough time with,” Ruff said Wednesday. “We had a tough time with it last year, but I thought we were making some headway. I feel like I’m losing a bit of ground again.”

As Ruff alluded to, Garbutt does have history with disciplinary issues. He was fined for a spear on Ducks’ forward Corey Perry last postseason and, during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, was suspended five games for a hit on Dustin Penner.

What’s more, knee-on-knee hits were a topic of conversation at last week’s GM Meetings, as NHL disciplinary czar Stephane Quintal addressed a noticeable spike in incidents through the first month of the season.

Garbutt will miss Dallas’ next two games -- Friday versus Minnesota, Saturday in Colorado -- and will be eligible to return when the Stars play in Toronto next Tuesday.