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NHL suspends Sabres' Kaleta five games

March 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM

NEW YORK, March 4 (UPI) -- Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been handed a five-game suspension for an illegal hit on the New York Rangers' Brad Richards, the NHL said Monday.

Kaleta was given a 5-minute major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct at time of the incident in the third period of Sunday's 3-2 loss to New York.

Richards left the game briefly after the hit, in which Kaleta shoved him head-first into the boards.

"In spite of the fact that Kaleta does not push Richards with great force, he does so at an extremely dangerous distance from the boards," NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said.

"Richards does not turn his back just prior or make any sudden movements that contribute to this illegal check. Kaleta is in full control of this play, and had ample opportunity to make a better decision."

Kaleta was also issued a four-game ban in 2011 for an illegal hit on Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek as well as fines for other questionable hits.

He will be eligible for return March 17 against Washington.

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