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NHL suspends Islanders' Ross Johnston for three games

Islanders left wing Ross Johnston sets before a

Islanders left wing Ross Johnston sets before a face off against the Devils in the first period of an NHL game at UBS Arena on Thursday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Islanders’ Ross Johnston was suspended for three games by the NHL on Friday because of an illegal check to the head of the Devils’ A.J. Greer early in the first period of Thursday night’s game at UBS Arena.

Johnston will forfeit $15,000 in salary as a result of the ruling, which came after a hearing on Friday with NHL player safety.

The NHL ruled that Johnston, who was assessed a minor penalty on the play, could have and should have hit Greer without making his head the main point of contact.

This is the first career fine or suspension for Johnston in 95 regular-season games over six NHL seasons.

It was the Islanders' first suspension in nearly seven years. Matt Martin got one game for kneeing the Stars' Trevor Daley in March 2015.

Asked about Greer’s status on Friday, Devils coach Lindy Ruff said, "He’s doing OK. Not great. He’s going to miss what I would call serious time."

New York Sports