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Senators defenseman Jared Cowen suspended 3 games for hit

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NEW YORK (AP) The NHL has suspended Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen three games for his late hit to the head of Florida Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen.

Cowen was assessed a minor penalty for interference Saturday. Jokinen was shaken up but returned to the game. The league on Monday noted the lateness of the hit plus the fact that Cowen's shoulder made contact with Jokinen's head.

This is the second suspension of Cowen's career. He will lose more than $113,000 in salary and is eligible to return March 3 at Minnesota.

The play came at 4:38 of the second period of Ottawa's 4-1 home victory. Jokinen skated into the Senators' zone and completed a pass when he was hit by Cowen.

Cowen says he ''didn't mean to hurt anyone'' and calls the three-game ban ''a bit much.'' He says he's ''trying to be a physical player'' and to do that ''you've got to play on the edge.''