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Manson, Stevens suspended three games

NEW YORK -- Dave Manson of the Chicago Blackhawks and Scott Stevens of the Washington Capitals were suspended without pay for three games for a February fight in which the two players clawed and bit one another, the NHL said Tuesday.

The fight occurred Feb. 27 during a game at Washington the Capitals won 4-0.

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Stevens was given a match penalty and Manson was hit with a gross misconduct, a match penalty and a $500 fine.

Stevens said he was bitten by Manson and only then responded by gouging Manson's eye.

League officials reviewed tapes of the game, but were unable to decide who started the fight.

Said NHL Vice President Brian O'Neill: 'Both claim the other was responsible. Notwithstanding the difficulty in laying blame, it is clear both players are responsible for their conduct and biting and scratching in this manner are equally unacceptable.'

The suspensions were to begin March 13, unless the clubs notified the league within 24 hours of the announcement they wished to waive the appeal period.

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