Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas received a three-game suspension from the NHL on Wednesday for an illegal hit on Ottawa's Mika Zibanejad during the third period Tuesday.

A spokesman from the NHL's Department of Player Safety said Gudas made the head "the main point of contact on a hit where the head was avoidable."

Gudas, who was not penalized on the play, delivered an extended forearm to Zibanejad, knocking him out of the game.

The 6-foot, 204-pound Gudas will forfeit nearly $16,000 for the three games he misses. He is eligible to return next Thursday in St. Louis.

"I don't necessarily agree with the league's decision, but I accept and respect it and I'll move on from here and prepare myself for when I return," said Gudas, who is second in the NHL with 118 hits.

It was the first time Gudas had been disciplined by the NHL in his career.

"It's a hard, fast play and we've seen a lot of them - against our guys - over the last few weeks here," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol told reporters at the team's Voorhees practice facility before the NHL's ruling. ". . . It's a hard hockey play in the heat of the battle."

The NHL noted that Zibanejad was injured on the play. He did not return to the game and is listed as doubtful for the Senators' matchup Thursday against Chicago.

The league did not suspend Boston's Zac Rinaldo for an Oct. 21 high check to the head of Sean Couturier, who suffered a concussion and missed six games. In that instance, a league spokesman said Couturier's head was struck, "but it was not the main point of contact."

Rinaldo, an ex-Flyer, has a history of being disciplined. He was suspended three times with the Flyers, totaling 14 games.

With Gudas sidelined, the Flyers are hoping Nick Schultz can return to the lineup Friday for the game in New Jersey. Schultz missed the 4-2 win in Ottawa because he was injured when he was leveled by the Rangers' 6-5, 220-pound Dylan McIlrath on Saturday.


Ten Flyers took part in an optional practice Wednesday, including three players - R.J. Umberger, Ryan White and Schultz - who are hoping to return soon from injuries. Sam Gagner, also sidelined with an injury, skated by himself before practice. . . . The Flyers' win Tuesday was their first in regulation this season in which they did not register a shutout.