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FOUR GAME VACATION: Dmitry Kulikov gets four games for hit on Tyler Seguin; Can return to Panthers on Sunday in Pittsburgh

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Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was suspended four games for his hit on Dallas' Tyler Seguin.
Kulikov missed Florida's 2-1 shootout loss to St. Louis on Sunday pending Monday's ruling.
Seguin, who was the second-highest scorer in the league at the time of Friday's hit, is out at least a month with a knee injury.
Although Kulikov was offered an in-person meeting with the NHL's Department of Player Safety in New York, he declined and instead held his hearing over the phone Monday morning as his teammates practiced at BB&T Center.
Kulikov did not travel with the team to Canada on Monday and will miss Florida's three-game tour in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Kulikov is expected to meet the team in Pittsburgh and could be in the lineup Sunday against the Penguins
By missing four games, Kulikov will forfeit $93,189.96 with that money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
"Kulikov bent severely at the waist and throws his body at Seguin's knees flipping Seguin and causing a significant knee injury,'' said Patrick Burke, an NHL player safety director, on the video explaining the ruling.
Kulikov went in for a hip check on Seguin as the Dallas forward crossed into the Florida zone.
Seguin made a pass and didn't see Kulikov coming. Although hip checks are legal, Kulikov appeared to mis-time his and took out Seguin at the knees with his upper body.
The league made the determination that Kulikov's hit was not a hip check but a low body check.
At the time of the hit, Kulikov was charged five minutes for clipping and given a 10-minute game misconduct. There was just 6:55 remaining in what became a 2-0 loss to the Stars.
"It's illegal to throw a body check below the knees,'' Burke said. "The player delivering the check is responsible for any consequences. In this case, Kulikov delivered a dangerous hit that is excessively low leaving the opposing player no way to defend or brace for the contact.''
Florida could have some defensive help coming back soon as captain Willie Mitchell is close to a return. Mitchell practiced Monday and traveled to Canada.
"He's skated four straight days and he's doing well,'' coach Gerard Gallant said.

Here is the NHL video on the incident:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=60&id=754213&lang=en

 

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