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The NHL has suspended Ottawa Senators goalie Ray Emery for three games.

Emery swung his stick and hit Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre in the face during the second period of the Senators' 5-3 win over the Canadiens last Saturday.

Emery later said he didn't mean to hit Lapierre that high, but wanted to fight the Canadiens' forward. He was assessed a minor penalty on the play.

"I think three games is a bit much and I'm disappointed that I won't get a chance to play for a little while," Emery told reporters in Ottawa yesterday.

Emery, 24, will be eligible to return Feb. 22 at Buffalo against the Sabres. He will forfeit nearly $15,000 in salary, which goes to the players' emergency assistance fund.

Lapierre, 21, who was wearing a visor, was not hurt on the play.

"I'm happy to see the league did their job," he said in Montreal. "He deserves a suspension, but how many games is up to the league. For me, the important thing is that I wasn't injured. I'm lucky I had a visor."