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Flyers' Tony DeAngelo suspended for spearing Lightning's Corey Perry below belt

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo was suspended two games on Wednesday for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Corey Perry, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced.

DeAngelo received a five-minute major and game misconduct during the third period of Tuesday night's 5-2 loss when he circled around after Perry had slashed his stick and hit the Lightning player in the groin with his stick. Perry fell and Lightning players went after DeAngelo.

Often, that type of action results in a player being fined.

"What causes this play to rise to the level of a suspension is the premeditated nature of the foul against an unsuspecting opponent well after the whistle, the area of the body where the spear was delivered and the force of the blow," the department said in a video.

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The department noted that DeAngelo didn't engage with Perry before spearing him.

"He tried to slash my stick out of my hand seconds beforehand," DeAngelo said about Perry. "He talks all game. I asked him to fight. He doesn't want to fight. He'll tell you he's asked me to fight for years. I don't say no.

"I wasn't trying to give him a shot. The replay probably looks a little worse than it was meant to be, but it is what it is. It took 30 punches on the ground and when I get up, they don't let me do what I got to do."

DeAngelo has a previous NHL suspension, an automatic three games in 2017 for physical abuse of a referee while he was with the Arizona Coyotes.

He is in his first season of a two-year, $10 million contract with the Flyers. He played with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, and was waived and eventually bought out by the New York Rangers in 2021 after an altercation with a teammate.

He will forfeit $54,054.06 in pay because of the suspension.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Flyers' Tony DeAngelo spears Lightning's Corey Perry, is suspended