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Douglas Murray suspended three games for hit on Mike Kostka

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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Montreal Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray has been suspended three games for his hit the head of Lightning defenseman Mike Kostka on Tuesday night.

Murray picked the head of Kostka just inside the Montreal blue line, sending the Lightning defenseman to the ice where he remained nearly motionless for a couple of minutes. Stretchers were brought onto the ice but Kostka got up and skated off the ice. It was one of the worst hits we've seen in the NHL this season.

The Lightning announced on Wednesday that Kostka suffered a concussion on the play and right now is out indefinitely.

Murray did reach out to Kostka to apologize, a gesture Kostka appreciated.

"Classy move," Kostka said. "I don't think he had malicious intent, but needless to say it was a bad hit."

Koskta said after leaving the ice for the trainers' room it took him about 20 minutes to realize what was going on. The defenseman did not have any recollection of the hit, but had a chance to watch it on tape.

"It was a pretty nasty scary looking hit," Kostka said. "I'm thankful I'm standing today."

Certainly the punishment could have been worse than three games -- surely some will argue it should have been -- but at least working in Murray's favor was the fact that he had not been suspended before.

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