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Panthers' William Lockwood suspended three games for hit on Marc-Andre Fleury

The Wild goaltender was knocked out of Friday's win in Florida because of the hit.
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Florida Panthers forward William Lockwood has been suspended three games by the NHL after his hit on Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on Friday night.

Fleury left the 6-4 win over the Panthers on a play where he went behind the net to retrieve a puck when Lockwood skated between the end wall and Fleury and his shoulder struck Fleury in the head. 

A brawl ensued after the hit and Lockwood was penalized two minutes for interference and five minutes for fighting Wild forward Brandon Duhaime. While Lockwood stayed in the game, Fleury eventually left and did not return.

"While Lockwood argues that the contact on this play was not intentional, it is, at the very least reckless," the NHL Department of Player Safety explained in a video on "Due to his speed and angle of approach, Lockwood is squared up towards Fleury at contact and does not get his upper body against the boards until after contact is made. Lockwood is in control of this play at all times and chooses to forecheck with high speed and take an angle of approach that puts him on a direct path towards making forcible and direct contact with Fleury."

There have been no updates on the severity of Fleury's injury but the 39-year-old has a history of concussions during his 20-year NHL career. Fleury is 8-9-3 with a 2.95 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in his second full season with the Wild after being acquired during the 2021-22 season.

The Wild have called up former first-round pick Jesper Wallstedt to take Fleury's place on the active roster ahead of Sunday afternoon's game against the Carolina Hurricanes.