TORONTO, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin was suspended for two games without pay after a knee-on-knee collision, the NHL announced Tuesday.
Ovechkin collided with Tim Gleason of the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night in a 3-2 Washington victory, on a play in which the Capitals' top scorer injured his own knee.
"I regret that this has happened," Ovechkin said in a statement released by the Capitals. "I'm glad that Tim wasn't injured because I never ever want to see anyone get hurt. I am disappointed to miss these games and I can't wait to get back on the ice next week to help my team."
The suspension was the first ever issued to the NHL superstar, who is known as much for his hard-hitting style as his scoring prowess. The suspension means he will miss Thursday's home game against Florida and Saturday's game at Philadelphia, with a return to eligibility slated for Dec. 7 at Tampa Bay.
Ovechkin, who has 18 goals and 30 points, said his injury wasn't as bad a first appeared.
"I thought it was going to be worse but thank God I can walk and I can skate," he told reporters.