Ruutu draws two-game ban

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Jarkko Ruutu will pay the price.

League VP of discipline Colin Campbell handed the Senators winger a two-game suspension for elbowing Montreal winger Maxim Lapierre in the head during a 4-0 loss to the Canadiens on Tuesday at the Bell Centre.

Trying to crack down on hits to the head, Campbell didn't buy Ruutu's defence that he wasn't trying to hurt the pesky Lapierre.

The Senators will be without Ruttu tonight at home against the Islanders and Saturday when Ottawa visits Long Island for the rematch.

"It wasn't a head hunt or anything else," said Ruutu, who will forfeit $13,978.50 US to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. "I don't really think I hit him with an elbow, either. It was a little high, but it wasn't on purpose."

The incident took place near the boards at 2:05 of the third period. Ruutu only received was a minor for charging, but the league asked for a 1 p.m. conference call with Ruutu and Senators GM Bryan Murray.

"(We're) disappointed that it's two games, but the NHL (has) set a very high standard for a hit like this, that I felt deflected off the shoulder to the head," Murray said in a statement. "Especially for a player with no history of suspensions, no history of even being called in front of the league.

"But we do have to abide by what is called. And obviously going forward we know now that this is the standard for anybody that gets hit to the head area."

Ruutu also received a 10-minute misconduct later in the period and was kicked out for jawing with Lapierre near the bench. He incensed the Montreal fans by waving to them as he left the ice.

"He called me over, he wanted to talk me and he wanted to let me know he was going 'rip my head off.' I just wanted to tell him know, 'Any time he wants it,' " said Ruutu.

LAST CHANCE

If rookie LW Nick Foligno doesn't pick it up, his next stop could be back to the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton. The Senators were unhappy with his minus-3 rating in the loss to the Habs, but he did skate with Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza yesterday at practice. "He's a young player who is learning this is a tough league to be in," said Senators coach Craig Hartsburg. "I don't think there's any doubt that Nick is going to be really good player here, but when that is, you can't put a time frame on it. It takes some younger players longer than others. He's going through a tough time right now."

OFF THE GLASS

A report out of Columbus indicated the Blue Jackets have targeted Senators D Chris Phillips and the talk is GM Scott Howson has contacted Murray. Phillips has a no-movement clause in his contract and would have to approve any deal ... RW Ryan Shannon was recalled from Binghamton yesterday to take Ruutu's place in the lineup. Shannon has five goals and nine assists in 12 games with the Baby Sens this season.


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