NHL suspends Senators' Eric Gryba two games for vicious hit

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The NHL suspended Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba two games for a hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Lars Eller, the league announced.

Gryba will miss Game 2, which will be played Friday night in Montreal and Game 3 in Ottawa on Sunday.

In Game 1 of their first round playoff series, Gryba was coming through the neutral zone and leveled Eller, leaving him a bloody mess on the ice. Eller was carried off on a stretcher and suffered several facial injuries, including a broken nose. Gryba was given a five-minute major and was ejected from the game. Ottawa won the game 4-2 to take a 1-0 series lead.

Senators coach Paul MacLean defended Gryba after the game and put the blame on Eller's teammate, defenseman Raphael Diaz, for leaving him out to dry.

"I thought player 61, if I'm ... was it Eller that got hit? I'm really mad at player 61, whoever he is," MacLean said during his post-game press conference, via CBSSports.com. "Because he passed me the puck in the middle of the rink when I wasn't looking, and that's always been a dangerous place. As far as I know, ever since I've been playing this game, that's a dangerous place to be. Bad things happen."

Canadiens forward Brandon Prust didn't like that analysis from MacLean.

"We don't care what that bug-eyed fat walrus has to say" Prust said, via Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS.