Milan Lucic suspended one game for Kevin Connauton 'sucker punch' (Video)

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GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 23: Milan Lucic #17 of the Los Angeles Kings is escorted off the ice by linesman Lonnie Cameron after receiving a misconduct penalty during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety suspended Los Angeles Kings rugged winger Milan Lucic one game for punching the head of unsuspecting Arizona Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton in a Saturday night game. Lucic had a hearing Sunday for what the department referred to as a "sucker punch."

A video of the explanation is above.

On a scrum in front of the Coyotes goal, early in the third period of the Coyotes’ 3-2 win, Connauton slashed Lucic in the hand. Lucic was upset with the play and decided to punch Connauton when the player did not see Lucic coming. Lucic also slashed Connauton's leg before the punch. 

Said the Department of Player Safety:

“In this situation Connauton has no reason to believe a punch may be thrown by Lucic. The play had been blown dead several seconds earlier and Connauton was in no way engaged with Lucic. After the whistle blows, Lucic finds Connauton, skates to him and delivers a punch to his head at a moment when Connauton has no way to defend himself in any manner.”

The Department of Player Safety also cited Lucic’s four fines and two suspensions in his NHL career as part of the video. Lucic will forfeit $32,258.06 in salary for the suspension 

Lucic received a two-minute minor for roughing and a game misconduct on the play. Connauton was penalized two minutes for slashing.

Following the game, Lucic criticized referee Bard Meier, who also gave Lucic a match penalty in his Kings debut for a hit on Logan Couture.

I mean, if I don’t react, I don’t think he even calls a penalty. Same guy – Brad Meier. I think this is the fourth time he’s kicked me out of a game. It’s always the same thing with him, It’s if guys can take liberties on me and it’s not a penalty. If I do something, then I’m automatically kicked out of the game. It’s just unfortunate that it is that way with him, and I’ve just got to move on and not get frustrated by the referees in the game.

The Pacific Division leading Kings acquired Lucic in the offseason to add toughness and offense. He has scored 12 goals and notched 29 points in 47 games this year. Lucic will be out for LA’s Sunday tilt against the San Jose Sharks. The Kings have lost two of their last three games and gone 5-4-1 in their last 10. 

The streaking Sharks have won eight of nine games.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!