(Reuters) - Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo has been suspended two games for charging into Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, the National Hockey League (NHL) said on Tuesday.
Tootoo carried the puck into the Sabres zone last Saturday and drove hard to the net where he collided with Miller.
The hit sparked a pileup of players during which Miller, who was playing in his first game since suffering a concussion after being hit by Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic on November 12, threw several punches at Tootoo.
While a Sabres defenseman made contact with Tootoo prior to the hit, the NHL did not feel it was significant enough to alter the Nashville player's path into Miller.
While we believe that Tootoo's motivation on this play was to attempt to score and not to hit Miller the fact remains that it is the attacking player's responsibility to make a better effort not to crash directly into the opposing goaltender, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said in a video posted on the league's website.
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The NHL also said it took into account that Tootoo, who received a major penalty for charging and game misconduct during the 3-2 loss to Buffalo, had not fined or banned by the league in the past four seasons.