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Sabres’ Jeff Skinner receives three-game suspension for cross-check against Penguins

Jeff Skinner (right) celebrated with Tage Thompson after scoring a goal Friday night.Joshua Bessex/Getty

NEW YORK — The NHL suspended Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner for three games on Saturday following an illegal cross-check to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.

Skinner and Guentzel had an altercation late in the third period of Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime victory on Friday night. The two exchanged slashes before Skinner cross-checked Guentzel twice. The second cross-check was to Guentzel's face just below his visor.

Guentzel was called for slashing. Skinner earned a minor for misconduct, a five-minute major, and a match penalty.

The league's Department of Player Safety ruled that Skinner “aggressively and purposefully” struck Guentzel. Skinner will lose forfeit $145,945 in salary for missing three games.

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This is the second suspension of Skinner's 13-year career. He was suspended two games in 2012 while playing for Carolina for kicking St. Louis forward Scott Nichol with the bottom of his skate.

The Penguins and Sabres played the second half of a home-and-home series Saturday night in Pittsburgh.