Coyotes' Larsson suspended 2 games for illegal check to head

Arizona Coyotes left wing Johan Larsson (22) celebrates with center Barrett Hayton (29) after scoring a goal against the St. Louis Blues in the second period during an NHL hockey game, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Arizona Coyotes forward Johan Larsson was suspended for two games without pay by the NHL on Saturday for illegally checking St. Louis Blues forward Zach Sanford in the head.

Larsson received a minor penalty for hitting Sanford during St. Louis' 4-1 victory on Friday night.

Sanford had just skated the puck over the blue line into Arizona's zone when Larsson stepped up to hit him. Larsson turned his body as he delivered the hit, and the back of his left shoulder appeared to make direct contact with Sanford's face. The league ruled that Larsson should have been able to avoid contact with Sanford's head.

It's the second suspension in Larsson's seven-year NHL career. He will forfeit over $24,000.

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