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Two-game suspension catches Sabres' Larsson by surprise

Once the NHL announced a disciplinary hearing for Johan Larsson, a suspension was all but assured. The announcement of two games caught the Buffalo Sabres center off-guard.

"I was kind of surprised I got two games," Larsson said Saturday. "The guy didn't get hurt or anything. I was a little surprised, but you can't do anything."

Larsson cross-checked Florida's Vincent Trocheck in the face during the closing minutes of Thursday night's game, and the NHL Department of Player Safety handed down the suspension Friday. Larsson will miss Saturday's visit by the St. Louis Blues and Tuesday's home game against Anaheim.

After Trocheck pushed and shoved with Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe, he absorbed a blow to the jaw by Larsson.

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"My intention was not to cross-check him in the head," Larsson said in KeyBank Center. "I was trying to go for cross-checking him in the shoulder, chest, and the stick got up in his face."

The NHL didn't care. Although it acknowledged the blow was inadvertent, it still was not a hockey play.

"I was a little surprised," Sabres coach Phil Housley said of the suspension length. "Just the way the game played out, tempers were high and there was some chippy play on both parts and being in the heat of the battle, but they make decisions and we have to live by it."

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