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Canadiens' Juraj Slafkovsky suspended 2 games for illegal hit

Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky is set to answer for a dangerous hit on Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff on Saturday. (Getty Images)
Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky will sit out two games for a dangerous hit on Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky has been suspended for two games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Wednesday for a dangerous hit on Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff on Tuesday night.

With just over five minutes left in the third period of the game between the Canadiens and Red Wings at Little Caesar's Arena, Slafkovsky checked Luff into the boards in front of Montreal's bench, propelling the Detroit forward head-first into the wall.

Luff was bloodied on the play, was slow to get to his feet and needed help getting down the tunnel into the locker room.

Slafkovsky was assessed a five-minute major penalty for boarding and was ejected from the game. Luff did not return.

The Red Wings announced on Twitter that the 25-year-old will have surgery on Thursday and is expected to miss 10-12 weeks of action.

“It was a bad hit and I think Slafkovsky knew it right away,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said post-game. “But you can’t hit someone like that and it’s just scary to see a teammate, anyone, go into the boards like that. We’re really hoping he’s all right.”

Luff is only a week removed from taking a slap shot off the chin in a game against the Minnesota Wild, knocking out some teeth and requiring 16 stitches to repair the cut.

He has one goal in seven games with Detroit this season after signing a one-year, two-way contract in the summer.

Slafkovsky, the first overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft, has three goals in 10 games and is facing the first case of supplemental discipline of his young career.

Fellow Montreal forward Josh Anderson was suspended for two games on Sunday for an almost identical hit on Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Alex Pietrangelo

The Canadiens ended up stealing a shootout win in Detroit to improve to 6-6-1.

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