Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews suspended two games for cross-checking Sabres' Dahlin

Watch as Rasmus Dahlin gets into it with Auston Matthews in front of the Sabres net, and Matthews retaliates with a high crosscheck.

The NHL has suspended Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews two games for cross-checking Buffalo Sabres defenceman Rasmus Dahlin, the league's department of player safety said Monday.

The incident occurred late in the third period of Sunday's game, with the Maple Leafs trailing 4-2. Matthews and Dahlin got into it in front of the Sabres net, before the Rocket Richard winner's cross-check caught Buffalo's defenceman in the neck area. Dahlin then attempted a punch to retaliate.

"I haven’t seen the replay of it. It’s battling in front of the net. I felt like I kind of rode up his shoulder and his shoulder pad rolled up a little bit. That’s hockey,” said Matthews after the game. “It’s competitive out there. Guys are physical and trying to compete."

Dahlin chalked it up to something that happens in the heat of competition.

“It’s hockey,” he said. “Things happen out there. It’s intense. I’m fine.”

In a video announcing the suspension, the league said "this was a high, forceful cross-check that makes contact with an opponent's neck with sufficient force to merit supplemental disciple."

Matthews, a two-time Lady Byng finalist, had never been suspended or fined through six NHL seasons. He will forfeit $116,402.50 in salary during the suspension with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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