Vancouver Canucks’ Nikita Zadorov suspended two games for hit on Lucas Raymond

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      Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov has been handed a two-game suspension for an illegal check on Detroit Red Wings winger Lucas Raymond on Saturday.

      Zadorov’s check on Raymond was behind the play, but he did not strike the Swede’s head with an elbow as it initially appeared. Rather, he winged Raymond’s chin with his shoulder.

      Vancouver will have a hole to fill on the left side of defense, where the 28-year-old has averaged nearly 18 minutes per game since arriving in British Columbia via a trade with the Calgary Flames.

      Zadorov will forfeit $39,062.50, with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

      That burden would become all the more troublesome given that fellow lefty Carson Soucy (hand) is in the third week of another lengthy injury absence, which could keep him out until March.

      After dropping an overtime contest to the Red Wings 4-3 on the road this afternoon, the league-best Canucks will seek to get back on track against the Washington Capitals tomorrow at 1 pm ET.

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