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Panthers' Winchester suspended three games

The SportsXchange

Florida Panthers forward Jesse Winchester was suspended three games for his hit on Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly during a game on Thursday night, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced.

Winchester's elbow made contact with Kelly's head at 4:52 of the first period in the Bruins' 4-1 victory. No penalty was called on the play.

"Rather than make a legal check, Winchester elevates and extends his left elbow, making significant contact to Kelly's head," NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan said. "On this play, the degree in which Winchester extends his elbow and the force of contact to Kelly's head is significant."

Kelly, 32, left the game after the hit but returned and had an assist and plus-2 rating in 16 minutes. In 15 games this season, he has three goals and two assists.

The 30-year-old Winchester, who has four goals and three assists this season, will miss the Panthers' next three games against the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks. He will be eligible to return on Nov. 15 for a game against the Minnesota Wild.

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