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Predators’ Filip Forsberg suspended for three games for hitting Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey in head

Vesey apparently has been ruled out of Monday’s game against Stars; after being hit in the head, Marc Staal’s status is unclear.

Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey falls to the

Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey falls to the ice after taking a hard hit on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Photo Credit: AP / George Walker IV

DALLAS — After a Sunday hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg was suspended for three games for a dangerous hit to the head of Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey on Saturday night.

Vesey apparently has been ruled out of Monday night’s game against the Stars. The Rangers called up Vinni Lettieri from Hartford on Sunday. Forsberg, who was not penalized for the high hit that bloodied Vesey’s mouth midway through the second period in the Predators’ 5-2 win, will miss Monday night’s game against the Islanders in Brooklyn.

Vesey was removed from the game as a precaution during the second intermission, as was Marc Staal, who was slammed into the boards by Alexei Emelin and hit his head on the glass shortly before the Vesey incident.

There was no penalty or hearing for Emelin, who sidelined Staal with an elbow to his head. After hitting the glass, Staal stood up, skated slowly off and did not return, raising concerns from his teammates.

Coach Alain Vigneault canceled a scheduled practice in Nashville, so it was unclear whether Staal will play against the Stars. If he can’t, defenseman Steven Kampfer, who has played 18 games, will step in.

In addition to the retina tear and orbital fracture of the right eye that occurred when he was struck by a deflected Flyers shot in March 2013, Staal suffered a concussion in a collision with his brother Eric in February 2011 and developed concussion symptoms last season.

Emelin, then with Montreal, also avoided any discipline for an elbow to the head of Stars forward Antoine Roussel in January 2017. He was fined the maximum $11,021.51 but not suspended by the Department of Player Safety for his illegal hit to Brian Gionta’s head in November 2014. He also was fined $5,000 in 2014 for butt-ending Canucks forward Pascal Pelletier.

Lettieri, who will turn 23 on Tuesday, has 14 goals and nine assists in 35 games with the Wolf Pack and a goal and three assists in 10 games with the Rangers this season.

The Rangers, who are last in the Metropolitan Division with 30 games to play, are in a battle with the Blue Jackets, Flyers, Islanders and Hurricanes for the two Eastern Conference wild-card berths.

New York Sports