Capitals' Ovechkin avoids further sanction for hit against Buffalo's Kaleta

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 27, 2009

Alex Ovechkin won't be suspended or assessed an additional fine by the NHL for his hit on Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta during the Washington Capitals' 2-0 win on Wednesday night.

Ovechkin was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and game misconduct for a controversial check that sent Kaleta headfirst into the boards and drew blood. All game misconducts are reviewed by the league and incur an automatic fine of $200.

Although Ovechkin didn't receive any supplementary discipline for the hit, that doesn't mean he's totally in the clear, either. He must go 41 games (from Saturday's game in Montreal through the March 8 contest against Dallas) without incurring another boarding major and game misconduct, or the two-time MVP will be hit with an automatic one-game suspension.

After the Capitals' victory over the Sabres, Ovechkin said he won't let the ejection -- the second of his four-plus seasons in the NHL -- affect the aggressive manner in which he plays.

"I can't do nothing about it," he said. "I just play my game. I'm not going to change. It's me."

© 2009 The Washington Post Company